Men Who Think They Could Cook…For Real (A.C.E. Caribbean Event Review)
Photos & Review By Marissa Williams
Picong– A West Indian word that refers to light comical banter, usually at someone else’s expense. It is the way in which West Indians tease, heckle and mock each other in a friendly manner.
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Picong was being served in abundance on Sunday August 28th at the Men Who Think They Could Cook Event that took place at CJ Hideaway. 2016 marks the 12th year for the event that brings the men of the Caribbean community together for an afternoon of fun, laughs and food. Luckily for some, judging for the competition was not based solely on taste, but, rather on having an eye catching food and booth presentation as well.
Despite the sizzling heat, the community came out in numbers to support the men who were intent on displaying their culinary skills. From the youngest to the very oldest, everyone got a tasty treat from each tent they visited while the talented Prince Marquis kept everyone dancing to some sweet soca music. When the heat got unbearable, patrons simply slipped inside and loaded up on some drinks from the bar and some ‘ole’ talk from their colleagues (Wayne yuh good?). The brave ones fought the heat with the legendary ‘Mighty Lazarus’ drink provided by Frances Benoit. You have to taste it to understand.
Anticipation levels were high as the time drew near to announce the winners, and the chefs all gathered on the stage while the afternoon’s MC, Krista, kept the camaraderie and picong going. There was a brief interlude for important community business when Candidate for District House 105, Donna McCleod, took a moment to congratulate the organizers of the event, as well as, highlight the importance of voting this election year.
And then it was time. The winners were announced. The picong was amplified and the music began again. Always a good time when the men get together to say they could cook. The proceeds from the event were donated to the Multiple Sclerosis Center of Atlanta (MSCA) on behalf of Stacey Samuel O Brien, a community member well known for her avid support of Caribbean arts & culture, who also lives with the daily challenges of MS.
- First Prize: Alan Simpson || Trophy donated by Priestess Production
- Second Prize: Jerry Charles || Trophy donated by 2BKaribbean
- Third Prize: Kwame Pacheco || Trophy donated by DevTech Consulting
- Most Promising Chef: Antonio Lopez || Trophy donated by Prime Mortgage Lending
- Most Original Chef: Chef ‘D’ || Trophy donated by Citywide HVAC
- Challenge Trophy donated by Tassa Caribbean Restaurant
- Cash Prizes by Laparkan Shipping Georgia
- Claire Clements of the Multiple Sclerosis Center of Atlanta (MSCA)
- Graphic Work by DC Visual Communications
- Candidate for District House 105, Donna McCleod
- Event Organizers: Krista Ifill, Melvin Ramcheran, Pam Ramcheran
- Music Provided by Prince Marquis and DJ Madd Flava
SOUND OFF: Were you there? What did you think of the event?
Last Years Review: Men Cooking Series 2015
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MISSION: To elevate the brand of Caribbean culture in the fields of MUSIC, BUSINESS and the ARTS by celebrating the work of cultural ambassadors while advocating for upcoming Caribbean talent1.