The cuisine of The Islands Of The Bahamas will be put on full display from December 12 through 14 as three chefs from the Bahamas National Culinary Team will participate in the United Nations’ Holiday Chef Takeover in New York City.
Chefs Asteir Dean, Kevin Pratt and Celeste Smith will display holiday Bahamian favorites to hundreds of international guests.
Chef Dean, who is leading the trio, said he was excited to be have been selected.
“Our theme behind the whole thing is taking down home, basic, Bahamian food and doing something totally amazing,” he said.
“It’s what we do here in The Bahamas at Christmas and we are going to take it and wow everyone. I’m excited and totally humbled because it would be the first time that any Bahamian chef has ever cooked at the United Nations Headquarters and so it is history in the making for Bahamian cuisine. It is time that Bahamian cuisine is placed on the forefront of international food. We are excited to give every country a taste of what we do here.”
Chef Pratt, who is assisting with hot dishes, said he is also excited to represent The Bahamas.
“We are going to put on a show and we are going to do our best and everyone is going to know where our food is from. We are skilled chefs and we have trained for this moment. It’s such an honor because as chefs, we do this day in and day out and no one sees it. And now people will see how we express ourselves through food,” he said.
Chef Smith will be preparing desserts for the prestigious event.
“We are representing our culture and showcasing it to the world and it is our honor and privilege to do,” she said. “To express our culture and ambiance on one plate is a great experience for anyone to encounter.”
Some of the mouthwatering dishes that the team will prepare include Kalik beer battered fish; Andros wild boar and sweet corn chowder; spicy chicken duff; guava braised short ribs; Junkanoo stuffed Bahamian spiced chicken; black bean and sweet island roasted corn loaf; shrimp stuffed turkey and coconut and a soursop crème brûlée, among others.
Ministry of Tourism and Aviation Culinary Manager Deanne Gibson says this event will take culinary tourism to another level.
“It is a very proud moment to see how our chefs are on their own ascending to another level,” she said. “Anytime we go, people want more. When they put out the food, we know persons will taste that and want more. Persons will see the level of skills that we have in The Bahamas and want to come and experience more of our cuisine. So, be it a foodie, be it the person who just wants a taste, they will want to come to The Islands Of The Bahamas.”
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