Barbadian chefs need to bring their A-game

Barbados' culinary industry is doing well, but more must be done to push the sector forward.

This is the view of Manager of the Barbados Hotel and Culinary Association (BHTA) Culinary Team, Henderson Butcher, which he shared with the media this morning at a preliminary competition round.

Twenty-one chefs are battling it out for a coveted spot on the BHTA Culinary Team heading to the Taste of the Caribbean competition in Miami in June.

“Chefs have to stop being lazy and the parties involved in marketing and pushing the chefs forward really need to step up and help the chefs to go forward in that direction,” said Butcher.

“The culinary industry in Barbados can only get better, but we have to continue to put the necessary back up into the chefs."

He made an appeal for a designated training arena for chefs , so that they can always be at the top of their game for competition.

Referencing some weak points observed by judges during the morning's proceedings, Butcher indicated that participation in the BHTA competition would involve intense training that would help to shore these up. Ten entrants from today's round will go forward to the finals next Friday.

Today, the chefs were aiming to impress the judges with their signature dish and in this 50th year of Independence, Butcher said that apart from showing that they are in full control of the kitchen, the judges are looking for aspiring finalists to put a modern twist on traditional cooking:

“Look at those things Granny would have done and how you can twist them and bring them back and make them wonderful.”

“The artist shows you their work on the canvas, the musician shows it in the music, but the chef shows it in the kitchen, so this is the time to show us the type of skills they have and the quality chef that they are.”

At Taste of the Caribbean 2015, the Barbados team copped a gold medal, as well as the Hans Schenk Commemorative Award for the Most Innovative Dish utilizing Indigenous Ingredients.