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National Cook-Off Champions crowned at Cayman Islands Agricultural Sh

John Gray High School students Joshua McLean and Diandra Thompson cooked up a storm to win the 2018 National Youth Cook-Off final at the Agricultural Show on Ash Wednesday (Wednesday, 14 February).

The 14-year-old amateur chefs, from George Town, trained with Chef Sierra from the Ritz-Carlton, and impressed judges with their pan seared snapper fillets accompanied by a mango salsa and a medley of decorative vegetables. The winners were announced in front of a packed Culinary Arena at the Stacey Watler Pavilion in Lower Valley.

Two-time North Side champions Mohyndra Brown and Amber McLaughlin, coached by Chef Dodd from the Ritz-Carlton, came second. Last year’s champion Bradley McLaughlin and fellow Proud of Them honouree Ayanna Davis-Eden placed third, supported by Chef Lloyd from the Reef Resort.

The final result was further heightened by an announcement on the future of the National Youth Culinary Programme. One of this year’s National Youth Cook-Off sponsors, The New Self Help Community Foundation, presented $100 cash to the finalists and has pledged to offer culinary lectures in schools in partnership with the National Youth Culinary Programme and the Cayman Culinary Society. It is hoped that the lectures will motivate more youngsters to pursue a career in the culinary arts.

The 2018 National Youth Cook-Off was also sponsored by the Cayman Islands Agricultural Society, Youth Services Unit, Foster’s Food Fair, Cayman National Bank, CULL Cayman, Home Gas Ltd.

The National Youth Cook-Off final was proceded by a graduation event for the students of the National Youth Culinary Programme. Miss World Cayman Islands, Kristin Amaya, presented the graduation certificates on behalf of the Cayman Culinary Society. The programme also received presentations from Cayman First as the winner of the December Classroom of the Month. A representative from the insurance company also gave a $500 cheque to the programme and gift packs to the graduates. The $500 cash donation would be used to purchase a knife set for the 2018 Champions and the remainder to aid with the trip to Barbados in August for the Caribbean Junior Culinary Conference and Caribbean Junior Dueling Challenge.




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