The future of Caribbean Cooking is in Birmingham

Lauren Brown 16 from South and City College, Hall Green, Birmingham, cooked her way to being outright winner of the Soul Kitchen Caribbean Cooking competition which brought together budding young chefs from local schools across Birmingham.

Having already cooked up some mouthwatering recipes which included pumpkin and green lentil soup, sprinkled with crispy plantain and Nanny Lurline’s fried chicken with dumplings, gravy and okra, Lauren ended with a lip-smacking Caribbean sponge desert. Award winning Chef, Lorenzo Richards, Cherelle Sampson, UK Marketing Representative for Walkerswood Caribbean Foods, and Monica Coke of Kajans Hospitality & Catering Studio College, were amongst the judges of this innovative project. “Points were awarded for culinary skills, quality, balance of flavours and presentations” said Lorenzo Richards “Lauren’s dishes were outstanding quality”.

Running since December 2013, the project enabled aspiring young Chefs to create Caribbean dishes. It was an educational and fun way of promoting the importance of a healthy diet to young people, through diverse foods. Soul Kitchen’s mentors included culinary queen, Rustie Lee and Terence ‘Astro’ Wilson from the legendary band, UB40.

All recipes will be compiled into a ‘Soul kitchen’ Interactive Cook Book, linking students, schools and their creations.

Walkerswood Caribbean Foods are the main sponsors of the Soul Kitchen Cook Book. “Here at Walkerswood, we are proud sponsors of the Soul Kitchen Project. We love to support youths, who are helping to spread Caribbean culture and flavours throughout the community” said Cherelle Sampson.

Soul Kitchen is part of the Birmingham Caribbean Festival that will run from 5th to 7th June 2014 in Victoria and Chamberlain Squares. Samples of the winning dishes will be available to an expected audience of well over 150,000. The Soul Kitchen Cook book will be on sale at the festival with proceeds going to charity.

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