A rising culinary star, 20-year-old Desly Missick, is heading to London for a week’s work experience in the kitchen of “British MasterChef: The Professionals” 2014 finalist Adam Handling.
Mr. Missick beat out six competitors in a series of mystery basket cook-offs and was announced the winner at a gala dinner, hosted by Mr. Handling, at the Governor’s House on Wednesday evening.
The competition was hosted by Flava magazine, British Airways, the Department of Tourism, and the Governor’s Office.
His prize includes return flights to London on British Airways and the opportunity to work alongside Mr. Handling at his restaurant, Adam Handling at Caxton, at the St. Ermin’s Hotel in Westminster.
On Wednesday morning, in the last round of the competition, Mr. Missick and fellow finalist Zack Myrie were given an hour to cook a dish from a mystery basket of ingredients. He impressed Mr. Handling with his dish of lobster with yucca mash, avocado Cho Cho, mango salsa, and garlic callalo.
“It was an amazing experience,” Mr. Missick said. “The fact that Chef Adam tasted my food and enjoyed it and the fact that other top chefs were there at the dinner means a lot to me. It’s a very good feeling.”
He added: “I was nervous at first, not knowing what would be in the mystery basket. I really wasn’t expecting it to be lobster, but it is an ingredient I am confident with as I cook with it a lot.”
He is a graduate of UCCI’s School of Hospitality and currently works at Ortanique. He hopes to attend the prestigious Johnson & Wales College of Culinary Arts, Miami, to further his skills. He said it will be the first time he has visited London.
“I know it is going to be an amazing experience,” Mr. Missick said. “The whole competition has been really inspiring.”
The competition formed part of Cayman Cookout, Cayman’s largest food festival, which sees some of the world’s top chefs host a series of cooking demonstrations, dinners and tastings. Amongst those attending this year’s event are Jose Andres, Anthony Bourdain, Norman Love, Lynn Crawford, Michael White, Sean Brock, Marcus Samuelsson, and Mr. Handling, the first time a British chef has participated in the festival.
The Cookout, now in its seventh year, kicked off on Thursday night with the Jacques Scott Wine Fair & Auction at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, and continues this weekend with event highlights including; The Barefoot BBQ at Tiki Beach on Friday night, hosted by Ripert, Bourdain, Andres and Samuelsson; an extravagant lunch hosted by Mr. Handling and Governor Helen Kilpatrick at Blue by Eric Ripert on Saturday; The Beach Bash, also on Saturday, with Mr. Ripert at Rum Point, where guests will be able to sail to the venue by catamaran and enjoy beach bites; The Grand Cayman Dine Around featuring a “surf and turf” dinner at Ortanique, Camana Bay, hosted by chefs Cindy Hutson, Mike Ficschetti and Peter Vauthy, on Saturday; and the Bon Vivant Champagne Brunch and Cook-Off on Sunday at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, followed by the Artisan Market at the Harbour Club.