The SuperClubs group of resorts: Couples, Boscobel Beach, Jamaica Jamaica, Hedonism II and The Grand Lido, continues to lead the field in the annual Jamaica Festival Professional Culinary Arts Competition.
They have again this year walked off with the laurels, chalking up the majority of gold medals in the contest, from a wide field of some of the best Jamaican private and hotel restaurants, from around the island.
SuperClubs has excelled in both the food and beverages categories, winning accolade after accolade for not only original dishes and mixtures, but for overall display and presentation as well.
And , Couples’ executive chef de cuisine, Pierre Battaglia, has again taken Chef Of The Year award for the third time in six years – a feat unparalleled in the history of the 20-odd year history of the contest.
“This all is phenomenal!” echoes an exuberant Joe Issa, Couples’ general manager, we co-ordinated the culinary efforts of the SuperClubs resorts. “once again we tried our best – putting a lot into the contest – and our hard work paid and determined effort has borne fruit, in a manner of speaking.”
Issa says SuperClubs winning streak in the vaunted and coveted competition mirrors the cuisine quality and excellence of the SuperClubs group. “We heavily advertise our cuisine’s excellence,” he says, “and when our efforts pay off in this public manner we are tremendously grateful and feel justly vindicated.”
Issa has nothing but high praise for the teamwork that has once again allowed the group to triumph in this grand way.
“From the word ‘go’, it was the full hard work and complete co-operation of our kitchen and bar staffers from all the properties that allowed this to happen,” Issa declared. “Nothing could have been achieved without their dedication, determination, skill and hard work. They all must share in this glory!”
Chef Pierre agrees: “It was teamwork all the way,” he agrees. “All of us worked very, very hard to get things right, and we are all so pleased that things turned out this way for us.”
SuperClubs’ victory in this year’s competition is even sweeter than ever before. The group had managed to grab at least 60 per cent of the awards in past years. This year their tally runs as much as 80 per cent.
A rundown of the SuperClubs “super victory”, according to Issa, shows an impressive scoop, indeed. Taking in the ‘beverages’ category first, this is what SuperClubs did:
Jamaica Jamaica – a gold, a silver and two bronzes.
Couples – a gold, a silver and a bronze.
Boscobel Beach – a bronze.
Hedonism II – a gold and two silvers.
SuperClubs took 75 per cent of all the gold medals n the beverage category, compared with 67 per cent last year.
Jamaica Jamaica won both the Delite and Grace special awards, for the best use of products bearing those brand names. Hedonism II won for the best use of rum products, and also for the best use of other alcoholic beverages.
Jamaica Jamaica took up honours for the best use of non-alcoholic products.
Hedonism II’s bartender, Joel Becker, was judged Bartender Of the Year.
In the important ‘food’ category, SuperClubs did even better:
Boscobel – three silvers and two bronzes.
Jamaica Jamaica – a silver and two bronzes.
Couples – four silvers.
Hedonism II – a silver and four bronzes.
Couples won first place for both vegetable carving and ice carving, and Boscobel Beach won the first place runner up prize for entering the best appetizer. Couples triumphed again with the best seafood dish, and took first place, also, for the best use of fresh water fish. Boscobel Beach too the Best Dressed Chicken Award for best chicken dish.
In the chef open competition, the best entrée and best dessert went to Couples, and the best use of fresh water fish (aquaculture) went to Boscobel Beach.
Boscobel Beach also walked away with the Best Dressed Chicken Award in the chef open section of the contest. Couples won the Content Agricultural Products Award.
Pierre Battaglia and his team from Couples won the group award in this category and the hotel also won the “most outstanding display” award.
Only one gold medal was awarded in the foods section of the contest – and it went to Chef Pierre. Thus SuperClubs took a full 100 per cent of the gold awards in the culinary competition, compared with 75 per cent, last year.
The SuperClubs group also took 75 per cent of all special awards.
Interestingly, SuperClubs triumphed without participation from its elegant Grand Lido whose executive chef died earlier this year.
Source: The Gleaner