BY: ASHELLY SMITH
“One day my sister-in-law invited me over to the house to help her prepare a dish, so I said ok. When I went to her house she was preparing salmon with a creamy dill sauce. We did it in the oven then we made the creamy dill sauce and at the end, it was really good. I liked the dish. On another day, my wife requested the same salmon with the creamy dill sauce. But I chose to do it a different way – as in pan searing and still use the same sauce but just fancier. So, I said, you know what, I’m gonna bring this dish to this competition today and hopefully I can win” said Nicholas Stennett at the 21st Annual Celebrity Chef.
It was great Saturday night at Century Gardens Recreation Centre when the United Achievers Club hosted Celebrity Chef – Men Who Cook competition. Emcee Charles Matthews Jr. made the atmosphere of the event more exciting with his alluring presence. He engaged the audience by involving some of the guests, having them speak about what dish they were having. Charles began the night by introducing each chef as they marched in coordinately with young ladies in bridal attire. They were situated in alphabetical order to their designated stands.
It was at 7:15 pm when Charles began to call out the tables numerically. Soon, the queue got longer with guests holding their plates in their hands. I spotted Superintendent Ingrid Berkeley-Brown who says she was looking for flavour and spiciness when sampling the dishes. She also commented that “this event is a great opportunity for people to network, to eat food and to raise money for the scholarship, so it’s always a fun and enjoyable event.”
When looking at all these different kind of dishes, it came to mind to ask one of the chefs Horace Spence, who cooked ZopZap Chilli Pot, if he should be executed tomorrow what would he want for his last meal?
“Bwoy!” as he thinks pensively.
Spencer added, “I specialize in seafood so for me I would want seatail crab, lobsters, shrimps, a bottle of rose and some sorrel.”
It was time to vote for the People’s Choice award where all guests got to choose which dish was their favourite. Denise Dawes from DS Inspired Fun Photos has been attending this event for three years. Denise’s favourite dish was Nicholas Stennett’s pan-seared salmon with creamy dill sauce so she voted for him. Despite Stennet’s sumptuous meal as it finished within minutes, he did not win the People’s Choice award. Nevertheless, he came second place in the Entree category. Stennett is a winner in his own rights as he showcased his magical skills during the entertainment section. One of Stennett’s incredible magical performance was pouring milk through a paper funnel which was not transparent; no form of liquid came through the paper funnel, neither was it wet. How was that possible? His performance really had the audience in great disbelief.
After the magical experience, it was time to announce the winner of each food category. Most importantly was the People’s Choice Award which was given to Courtney Guy with his Cajun Seafood Salmon with Sweet Potatoes and Jerk Corn Salad. The Chef of the Year winner was Jeremiah Eastman. He prepared a creative dessert called Sunday’s Best Crepes.
United Achievers’ Club of Brampton is a non-profit organization established in 1980. All proceeds go to scholarships for students entering first-year Canadian colleges/ universities in September 2018 and a donation of 1/3 of the proceeds to the William Osler Health System, Paediatric Department to aid in the care of patients living with Sickle Cell Disease.
For a novice who wants to be in the culinary field Shaun Lang, Executive Chef at Dana Hospitality gave this advice: “Have a passion for what you’re doing, enjoy what you’re doing have fun with it. You need to have a passion for it and figure out exactly where you want to go in the industry and do the best you can with it.”