The scent of turmeric wafted through Emancipation Gardens as students representing the Seventh-day Adventist School were announced as the winners of the V.I. Police Department’s second annual youth culinary event.
Scoring 375 points, just one point ahead of Ulla Muller Elementary School, the Seventh-day student cooks were elated to find their trophies nearly as large as they were. The event was held in honor of Police Week. Students from schools across the three islands created dishes using only coal pots, a commonly used device before kitchen stoves came to the islands.
Officer Afiya George wore a green chef’s hat and helped coach the Lockhart Elementary School’s students, who had to light a fire, coax flames by continuing to fan them and cook an inspired dish that would be judged by culinary experts.
Several public officials and VIPD families were in attendance. Commissioner of Agriculture Positive Nelson offered assistance to the Homeschool 1 Team, who called themselves “The Marvels.”
The three home-schooled students: Lydia Magee, Lilly Seiber and Jaden Muse, used their coal pot to cook a stir-fry and another dish using Mahi Mahi. All three young culinary artists were mentored by chef coach Amber Alexander.
Former Sen. Clarence Payne was also in attendance.
“This is one for the ages,” Payne said. “This event has to be duplicated, triplicated, quadruplicated. Don’t let it stop or end, keep it going and get these children behind a coal pot and learning some healthy eating and good role modeling from the elderly. Then we can build this culture again.”