Men Who Look Like They Could Cook (Caribbean Event Review)
(Pictures at end of article)
The sky was angry, but not even the threat of bad weather could stop the vibes at the Men Who Look Like They Could Cook event hosted by Georgia Caribbean Culture (GCC) Inc. & KMP. It was held on August 10th at C& J Hideaway in Lithonia, GA. This hallmark Atlanta event, initiated by community organizer Pamela Ramcheran, invites men in the Caribbean community to showcase their cooking skills and signature dishes . The chef with the tastiest food and most engaging presentation is awarded a trophy and bragging rights until the next event. This year’s sponsors included Tassa Caribbean Restaurants, DevTech Consulting LLC, C&J Hideaway and Priestess Productions Inc..Proceeds went towards supporting Multiple Sclerosis Research. At a minimal $10 entrance fee, I felt as if I hit the jackpot when I realized the variety of food available to sample. The tantalizing aromas beckoned and so armed with my bag of chits, I surveyed the room to decide who would be my first victim. When I spotted him my belly did a happy dance and I chipped across to the booth to the strains of soca music being played by DJ Madd Flava. The taste festival had begun!!
C&J Hideaway was the perfect location for this event. Due to inclement weather, the chefs tables were set up inside, lined along the walls with red table cloths. Each chef had ample room to professionally display their food and creative dish names for the masses to sample. The bar set up was dedicated to one side of the room, the D.J. was set up on the opposite side and there was a room for a dance floor in the middle. With enough room both inside and out, guests had a choice as to where they would eat their food, or for the younger guests, they had their choice of square footage to play and run off the extra energy.
It was a blended crowd of mature folks, young folks and everything in between. The music was playing, the food was serving, the drinks were flowing and everybody was having a good time just socializing and sampling food. As the afternoon progressed, bellies were full and the drinks had started taking its effect encouraging a few folks to hit the dance floor.
This was not the typical Caribbean party, so the entertainment came from many different sources. ‘People-watching’ was the highlight for me. Watching the chefs pump their ‘guns’ as the friendly competition waged against one another as to who was the best cook. Onlookers sampled food from each chef and then merrily found a table to discuss the flavors, politics, music or whatever ticked their fancy. Congratulations to all of the winners, and especially to this year’s ‘Best of the Best’ winner – Chef Anil, who walked away with the newly introduced Challenge Trophy. Chef Louis of Puerto Rico came in second, and Chef Chris of Jamaica was the 3rd place winner. Kudos to Chef Kwame, winner of the Special Prize. Kwame that rum cake take win!!!!