Cook-off Chefs

bereciaChef Erika Berecia Stapleton is a happy culinary artist. She has been a chef for 8 years. Her aunt was a chef and she saw how happy she made the entire family with food and she wanted to do the same. What she likes best is making delicious food from unlikely paired ingredients. She is a chef at the prestigious Four Seasons Resort and has been with the Nevis Mango Festival for the past 4 years.

bereciaWentworth Smithen is one of Nevis’ young aspiring celebrity chefs. He studied at the CFB College and received an associate degree in Culinary Arts. Last year he applied and got accepted for a 3 month culinary course in Taiwan where he received a certificate in Chinese Cooking from Hungkuang University. Prior to COVID19, Wentworth worked at Park Hyatt, St. Kitts. He is no stranger to the Nevis Mango Festival as he interned with the festival for 2 consecutive years before joining last year as one of the festival’s featured local chefs. He received much inspiration from Iron Chef Judy Joo.

Chef Cook-off Judges

Desery Ottley - competition judgeDesery is a graduate of the Charlestown Secondary School and Nevis Sixth Form College. She holds a degree in Hospitality Management with a concentration in Human Resources Management. Her career started at almost 20 years ago at VON Radio where she held the positions of Senior News Editor/Reporter, Announcer and Youth Program host. While at VON, Desery did extensive coverage for a number of special events including the Leeward Islands Debating Competition. Outside of VON Radio, she also hosted, announced and judged a number of local events such and quizzes, pageants and graduations. Her professional experience includes Human Resources Manager, Four Seasons Resort, Nevis and Assistant Director of Human Resources at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences in Anguilla. Currently, she is co-owner of SKN Executive Travel, operators of the MV APPLE SYDER fast water ferry service. Desery believes that a positive attitude and willingness to learn and never giving up will lead you to unbelievable success.

Kacey Jeffers - competition judgeGrowing up in Nevis, he was intrigued by the human condition. Curious to know more he ventured out, camera in hand, to New York City. Photography solidifies his desire to strip away artifice; to sustain an eye-to-eye connection; and to crystallize a beating heart. This drives him to create cross-genre narratives that are sensitive and authentic. His use of light, shadow, color, space and texture reveals the emotional realms of his subjects.  Ultimately, every frame is a resolution to unearth self-truth, both theirs and his. His first book, UNIFORM, is now available and features portraits of Nevisian youth in their school uniforms.

Sylvester Wallace - competition judgeOriginating from one of the most fruitful places in the Caribbean, nestled in the Tropical Atlantic Ocean is my home Nevis, the Queen of the Caribbean. This little island is a place where nature speaks for itself. The white, sandy beaches, tropical , green vegetation, the blue Atlantic Ocean and breath taking views along with the friendliness of our people, complete our little tourist island.

In a small village of Rawlins Pasture, here I, Silvester Wallace grew up with five siblings. I am the fifth child. From the early age of eight (8), culinary arts became one of the most passionate things in my life. My mother Joyce Wallace taught me all that she could because she was also a culinary superstar. Noting the culinary skills I displayed, Mel Henville along with Vanessa Parris boosted my confidence as they recognized my special calling. Traveling to Barbados to gain knowledge in Food and Beverage inspired me to set career goals. My career development was mainly done while being developed at Four Seasons Resort and Hotel. Following a clearly defined development plan, I was educated and prepared for all areas of food and beverage. Four Seasons Management and Development Plan also enabled me to work in Chicago and Dallas.

The love of meeting people in the hospitality industry gave me the urge to write a training manual in hospitality management. This gives hospitality training to hotel staff so that they can achieve their career goals.

Working in the Department of Community Development as the Culinary Arts Trainer gave me the urge to write this book. I hope you will find this book very helpful as it relates to local produces being turned into refined dishes. My simple words to all, “Eat Healthy, drink healthy, eat local and stay local. Healthy eating supports healthy living.

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