Black Belt Chef Champion 2017 Danette McLaughlin, left, receives her trophy and prizes, presented by former Miss Cayman runner-up and Purple Dragon Black Belt Erin Hislop.

Four amateur chefs battled it out on the grills at Purple Dragon’s fourth annual Beach BBQ and Black Belt Chef Competition on Aug. 12.

After four hours of grills and games, Danette McLaughlin topped opponents Sensei Leonard Lewis and his assistant Saul Langlois, who tied for second place with Kari Seymour and her assistant Steffen Pitta, to take the title.

“All the contestants brought their A game this year,” said Shihan Floyd Baptiste, head instructor at Purple Dragon Cayman Islands.

Beco Pitta took home the People’s Choice award for his grilling creations. “I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my Saturday than with friends and family. Good people, good food, good music. I am grateful to be part of this organization,” he said.

Purple Dragon thanked the judges, Wayne Jones of Food for Thought Catering, Carlos Espinosa of Legendz Bar and Restaurant, and Tyler Lawson of Smokin’ Bros, as well as all of the prize sponsors.

Purple Dragon’s martial arts school over the summer has held a series of activities “geared toward enriching the creativity, focus, discipline and patriotism of the next generation,” a press release states, including students spending time with parents to build a car out of cardboard for Drive-In Movie Night, learning about robotics, first-aid or aquatic animals on the glass bottom boat with the Kickin’ Karate Kamp, and training to prepare for black belt grading in Trinidad and the U.S. Capitol Classics Tournament in Washington, D.C.

Shihan Floyd said, “We consider it our duty to share the Don Jitsu system of martial arts and all its positive aspects with every member.”

For more information on Purple Dragon School of Martial Arts, call 946-1241 or visit

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