For one entire month, 15 cooks and chefs at Sandals Negril put their skills to the test in an event dubbed Make the Same. It was a great way to hone their skills and bring team members even closer together.
Divided into eight groups, they were challenged each week to prepare a meal selected by the judges. These included a variety of popular dishes such as classic Jamaican breakfast, club sandwiches and Mediterranean cuisine. Teams were also quizzed on general kitchen knowledge.
The grand finale came down to the top two competing teams, Make it Happen and Trending. The former was made up of team members Kedesha Spence, Yakini Scott and Abi Joan Allen. The latter consisted of Iona Robinson, Dannese Jones and Monique Thomas.
During the final contest there was non-stop cheering and banter within the audience made up of resort guests and employees. This gave the nervous but determined competitors the drive to deliver their best work as the timer ticked away to the last minute.
After what seemed an eternity for the judges’ deliberations, both teams were tied and the tension ran even higher. It all came down to a cook-off to see which team could produce the best egg over-easy. At the end, team Trending was the winner.
“My team and I were absolutely excited for this win; the initiative was a great learning tool for us and gave us the platform to test our skills and knowledge. This was an opportunity for us to bond as a group and it has definitely helped with the chemistry within the department,” said Dannese Jones on behalf of the winning team.
For Executive Chef at Sandals Negril, Delroy Haye, the competition was a success on a number of levels.
“We grouped some of our more experienced team members with some of our newer employees for this initiative, so each person could learn from the other. This has resulted in obvious skill development and improvement all around,” a proud Haye said.
The top two teams walked away with a host of prizes including cash awards, trophies, appliances, gift baskets and gift certificates.
Noting that this is the second staging of the competition, as it was first held in 2019, Haye added that though the COVID-19 pandemic had put things on hold for a bit, the team is looking forward to this contest being a staple at Sandals Negril for years to come.