Saturday, April 9, 2011

Joel Prenelus National Jr. Chef Winner

By Yasmin Popescu, Media Unlimited

Grand Bahama, The Bahamas - For the first time the Eight Mile Rock High School entered a student in the National Young Chef competition and came back the winner.

Eighth grader, Joel Prenelus emerged the National Jr. Chef after competing against 10 other students from around The Bahamas during the competition that was held at the A.F. Adderley Junior High School in Nassau, New Providence on March 16th, 2011.

Joel excitedly told of his love for cooking and his desire to one day pursue this as a career as well as three other disciplines – marine biology, basketball and carpentry saying he is said to be quite proficient in all.

His winning dish was the Island Rice Trio, which consisted of sushi rolls of wild hog, wild pigeon and lobster rice. He was also entered in the flour dish and for this he did the Island Coconut Fruit Cake, which won him third prize.

According to Hospitality teacher and coach Mr. Theo Arthur, Joel is a very confident young man and he was one of two persons to represent Grand Bahama. The other was a student from St. Georges who participated in the Sr. Chef competition.

“I am proud to be a winner, proud of his school” said Joel, who continued to say, “as I was leaving a lot of people said I would lose but now I’m the winner.”

He said he was not nervous going into the competition in Nassau after winning the competition in Grand Bahama.

As for his inspiration, he said his mother has helped and showed him how to cook the basics. Inspiration for the dishes themselves came from his teacher whom he said inspired him to think outside of the box and use ingredients from around the islands, hence the rice with lobsters from Grand Bahama waters; wild hog from Abaco and wild pigeon also from Abaco. This idea won him the first place as no other student produced items such as these, he said. He noted that the aim was to be cultural.Mr. Arthur, he said, taught him how to cook these various animals.

Joel is also looking forward to going into the seniors in two years, and winning. When asked about advice for others who may want to do the same thing, Joel said they should be confident in themselves and believe all things are possible through Christ, and to have a good teacher like he has in Mr. Arthur.

Ms. Gaylene Bain-Pinder, Education office was also quite proud of the accomplishments of Joel and was on hand for the interview commented on the confidence held by Joel whom she said was even very good at being interviewed by the media.

“We are expecting great things to come from Joel” said Mrs. Bain-Pinder, “in fact I have spoken with Superintendent Anderson and we are going to watch his career from grade eight straight through to grade 12 and we have decided to sponsor him so that he can focus on cooking and doing the things he loves.

“We are going to make sure he has all of his tools, text books, recipe books and so forth because we are looking forward to Joel’s name being a household name in Grand Bahama for cooking.”

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