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St. Mary Municipal Corporation brings the heat -Cops culinary conquest at Local Government & Community Month 2023 Cook-Off Competition

ANNOTTO BAY, St. Mary: A Taste of St. Mary team was an exception to the proverb about too many cooks spoiling the broth as it copped the 2023 staging of the Local Government and Community Month (LGCM) Cook-Off Competition.

“The St. Mary Municipal Corporation (MC) team approached the Cook-Off like we were entering a formal, professional cooking competition and that guided every action we took.,” said Chief Executive Officer Ethlyn Douglas.

“We selected members of staff and Councillors who had culinary skills, we had meetings to discuss the menu, our team look, from setting up the work space to during the competition, our booth, our theme and our team’s name.”

The St. Mary team tantalized the tastebuds of the three-members judging panel during the competition at Gray’s Inn Agricultural Complex in St Mary on November 24.

Their winning dish was the ‘Mackerel Steak’ (served with Coconut Annatto Sauce, Sweet Potato Duchess and Carrot & String Bean Medley) and their drink showing off the versatility of June Plum was coined ‘St. Mary’s Delight’.

The other teams rounding off the top three spots were the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation and the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development in second and third place, respectively.

The Cook-Off Competition was conceptualized in 2015 as part of LGCM activities and consists of two rounds. Judging is done after each round for a drink and the main course. This year, the main ingredients were mackerel (pickled or tinned) saltfish and June plum for the drink.

The contest is open only to individuals employed by the Ministry, its Portfolio Agencies, and the Municipal Corporations.

This year’s competition had 12 entrants to include 2022 winners the St. Elizabeth MC; Hanover MC; St. Ann MC; NEPM Waste Management Limited; the Jamaica Fire Brigade represented by the St. Mary Fire Department; Portland MC; the Municipality of Portmore; Vineyard Town Golden Age Home and the Manchester MC.

The entrants are judged on use of ingredients; originality of recipe; creativity of team name and uniforms; team conduct; team organization and booth décor.

“Another aspect of our preparation that I believe assisted greatly in our win was that we tested our menu. Days before the competition, we timed the preparation of the dishes, tasted same, and gave feedback on how to enhance our menu,” added Miss Douglas.

“We worked together, fully demonstrated team work during the execution. All members, even the reserves, had an opportunity to perform.”

LGCM is celebrated annually in November and this year observed the theme: ‘Local Government: Creating a Legacy of Improved Social Services’.

The St. Mary team comprised Mayor Richard Creary, Councillors Leroy Sewell, Mitsy Hudson-Hicks, Doreen Hutchinson and Levan Freeman along with CEO Douglas, Secretary Brittania Hydol and Hanif Morrison, Building Officer.