Six-year-old chef shares cook-off trophy

| 25/07/2011

(CNS): In a surprising twist, two winners emerged from the 14th Annual Little Cayman Cook-Off this year, with one of the winners being under seven years of age. Little Cayman Beach Resort Head Chef Anthony Pizzarello and six-year-old Mathieu Pothier tied for the highest total points in the competition. After considerable deliberation among the judges, Pizzarello and Pothier both received a Cayman National Grand Champion trophy and the $250 cash prize. Photo: Tasting Judges Geussepe Gatta (far left) and Vico Testori (far right) with Grand Champions Mathieu Pothier and Andrew Pizzarello.

A fundraiser of the Sister Islands Tourism Association (SITA), the competition, held on 2 July at the Little Cayman Beach Resort (LCBR), received entrants from the professional and non-professional cooking arenas, who were judged this year by Vico Testori of Pappagallo Restaurant, Frederic Morineau of the Grand Cayman Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Geuseppe Gatta of the Lighthouse Restaurant at Breakers.

LCBR also played host to SICO's traditional Caribbean jerk chicken, with attendees being given the option of upgrading their dinner choices to sample the 46 dishes submitted in the competition. A raffle was held shortly after the competition with prizes donated by Cayman Airways and a host of other resorts, restaurants and businesses around the Cayman Islands.

“It is incredible that on an island with very limited resources and a sometimes weekly supply barge the quality and freshness of the food can be at this level,” said Testori.

Suzy Soto, who owns a guest cottage on the island, said that it was an event that merited international attention, out-performing even the vaunted Grand Cayman competition, while SICO host Peter Hillenbrand said it was the most successful SITA fundraiser in the 14 years of the competition and that he estimated US$7,500 was raised from the competition.

The results of the competition were:

Local (Non-Professional Cooks): Mathieu Pothier was awarded first place with Saucisson au Chocolat and Mirelda Massias was awarded second place with Land Crab Fritters.

Soup/Appetizer: Debbie Truchan of the Little Cayman Bahai' Communit was awarded first place with Conch Pate with Caribbean Herb Bread served with Plantain Coconut Relish and Sweet Chili Pepper Jelly. Diane Sherer of Pirates Point was awarded second place with Caribbean Seafood Corn Chowder.

Salad: Diane Sherer of Pirates Point was awarded first place with Ahi, Avocado, Heart of Palm with Wasabi Dressing and Team SCC of the Southern Cross Club was awarded second place with Tropical Sweet and Spicy Crab and Fruit Salad with Passion Fruit and Honey Vinaigrette.

Entree: Anthony Pizzarello of the Little Cayman Beach Resort was awarded first place with Braised Beef Short Ribs au jus with Corn Pudding and Team SCC of the Southen CrossClub was awarded with Yam Crusted Mahi Mahi with Trilogy of Vegetable Puree.

Dessert: Debbie Truchan of Little Cayman Bahai' Community was awarded first place with  Cayman Triple Treat Tower (Papaya Heavy Cake Mango Mousse Almond Coconut Crunch garnished with Sugared Papaya Flower) and Team SCC of the Southern Cross Club was awarded second place with Little Cayman Naseberry and Mango Cheesecake.

This year's SICO wassponsored primarily by Cayman National Bank, along with Cayman Airways, Cayman Imports, Jacques Scott, Island Supply, Cayman Distributors, the Cayman Islands Brewery, Tortuga Rum and various others.

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