Joshua McLean and Diandra Thompson of John Gray High School are the winners of the National Youth Cook-Off final held at the Agriculture Show on Ash Wednesday.
The winners were announced at the Stacey Watler Pavilion in Lower Valley.
The 14-year-old amateur chefs from George Town impressed judges with their pan-seared snapper fillets accompanied by a mango salsa and a medley of decorative vegetables after being trained by Chef Sierra from The Ritz-Carlton.
In second place was two-time North Side champions Mohyndra Brown and Amber McLaughlin, coached by Chef Dodd from The Ritz-Carlton.
Third place went to last year’s champion Bradley McLaughlin and Ayanna Davis-Eden supported by Chef Lloyd from the Reef Resort.
Miss World Cayman Islands, Kristin Amaya, presented the graduation certificates on behalf of the Cayman Culinary Society.
A number of presentations were made throughout the night. Sponsors, The New Self Help Community Foundation, presented $100 cash to the finalists and pledged to offer culinary lectures in schools in partnership with the National Youth Culinary Programme and the Cayman Culinary Society. It is hoped that the lectures will motivate more youngsters to pursue a career in the culinary arts.
Cayman First Insurance Company gave $500 to the program and gift packs to the graduates. The cash donation will be used to purchase a knife set for the 2018 Champions and the remainder to aid with the trip to Barbados in August for the Caribbean Junior Culinary Conference and Caribbean Junior Dueling Challenge.
The 2018 National Youth Cook-Off was sponsored by the Cayman Islands Agricultural Society, Youth Services Unit, Foster’s Food Fair, Cayman National Bank, CULL Cayman and Home Gas Ltd.