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Last weekend was remarkable and it had nothing to do with Real Madrid defeating Atletico Madrid to win the UEFA Champions League Cup on Saturday, or the astonishing last-ball win by Mumbai Indians over Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League on Sunday; not even the medal run by our men and women on Sunday at the IAFF World Relay Championship in Nassau, Bahamas.
I was enthralled on Saturday night at Lions Cultural Centre, Woodbrook, by the live entertainment provided by the Lions Club of Port-of-Spain Central, at its annual Caribbean Gourmet Flavours, especially that of Kayna—Yuyaric Group of Ecuador.
Other artistes on the billing included the T&T Chinese Steel Ensemble, Wasafoli, Tropical Rhythm Boys and The Cartars, but the trio of Kayna really caught my ears and captured my heart. Led by Pablo Maldonado Morales, the group’s repertoire included romantic reggae, Bollywood hits, calypso and indigenous Andean music. Kayna made everyone sit up and take notice when it played Bunji Garlin’s Differentology.
Described as “the only Ecuadorian group to play African music,” Kayna’s piece de resistance was its interpretation of Flavour’s Nwa Baby, made popular locally this Carnival by Denise “Saucy Wow” Belfon as Chuku Chuku.
Also somewhat of a novelty was the T&T Chinese Steel Ensemble, which comprised young people in the main. This ensemble also won much applause with its repertoire of popular items.
Judged by Deborah John, Irma Hannays, Karen Granger and yours truly, the actual cooking competition featured chefs from the Lions Club, Fatima College, Queen’s Royal College, Belmont Boys’ Secondary, St Mary’s College, St Francois Girls’ College, South Africa High Commission and guests cooks, including T&T Guardian Features Editor Franka Philip. The latter served up a tangy Tamarind Pork which proved popular with the many diners. Also evoking a collective nodding of heads was the Fatima College team, led by Justice Malcolm Holdip and Keith Simpson, and Paul Brathwaite’s mushroom stroganoff concoction named “Hash tag what de Ras-put-in.”
At the end of a delightful evening of good food and entertainment, the award for Best Presentation went to the South Africa High Commission team, its high commissioner Maureen Modiselle accepting the prize herself.
Justice Holdip (Fatima College) copped the award for Most Original Title, his pork dish named “Farmer Nappy say is big people piggy: Section 34 cut into 201 pieces.” This dish was also voted Best Meat, tied with Penny had a little lamb, served by Nigel Mitchell of Team QRC.
The other highlight of my weekend gone was the opening of Howzat, Woodbrook’s newest liming spot, located on Tragarete Road, just after Havelock Street. Formerly known as La Casa de Ibiza, the establishment is now under new management, the members of the popular Crayon Crew, one of the country’s most visible party/show outfits. Members of the management team include Nicholas and Nigel Howard, Canuth Johnson and Kevin Critchlow.
Chatting about the new venture this week, Howard (Nicholas) said: “You can call it maturity. We, the members of Crayon Crew, have moved on from partying to serious business. At Howzat we are providing affordable liming in the west. Similar spots in the East and Central have very low prices so our aim is to equal or better them.
“We are open every day and part of the Howzat ambience is to provide customers with not just low, affordable food and drink, but continuous sporting coverage. We also intend organising our own sporting events.”
As if to support the claim of low prices, a Carib beer at Howzat goes for $9. The venue also offers an open air backyard space, as well as a foyer. Seen on Howzat’s opening day were retired army Major General Edmund Dillon, T&T Mortgage Finance MD/CEO Ingrid Lashley and former parliamentary secretary Kathleen Mohammed.
Lions Club of Port-of-Spain Central Caribbean Gourmet Flavours:
Best Dessert: Ken Pierre—Cheese cake
Best Vegetarian: Joy Dillon—Sacha and Sharma; A melongene rational melange
Best Seafood: Keith Simpson (Fatima College)—Seafood casserole
Best Poultry: Renee Simpson (St Francois Girls’ College)—Anand’s Prison Polo
Best Meat (tie): Malcolm Holdip (Fatima College)—Farmer Nappy say is big people piggy: Section 34 cut into 201 pieces
Nigel Mitchell (QRC)—Penny had a little lamb
Most Original Title: Farmer Nappy say is big people piggy: Section 34 cut into 201 pieces—Malcolm Holdip (Fatima College)
Best Presentation: South Africa High Commission.