Samoya tops Taste of Beaches

Thursday, June 13, 2019

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It was all smiles and some tears of joy for Samoya Morgan, kitchen supervisor of Beaches Ocho Rios, as she collected her cheque for $50,000 for winning the Taste of Beaches Cook-off competition.

“This is so unbelievable, especially since I had some doubts coming into the competition. When I thought about the level of competitors I was a little doubtful; but then it became clear last night that I could,” said Samoya as she struggled to hold back the tears.

Samoya, along with seven other chefs, competed in the Taste of Beaches Cook-off Competition which was put on by the resort's General Manager Brian Roper and the Executive Chef Rodroy Thomas. Aimed at developing and showcasing the talents and skills of the junior/Sous chefs at the resort, the competitors were given two hours to prepare and serve two entrees from the main ingredients, fish and pork belly. They were also provided a host of mainly local (90 per cent) ingredients and three “mystery items”: marshmallows, Hershey's Chocolate and Appleton Rum — to incorporate in their dishes.

“I'm very proud of my chefs. To see the level of pieces that were displayed is very commendable. We even had a pastry chef participating in the competition and that goes to show the level of talent we have here,” Thomas highlighted.

“This is really the brainchild of our GM, he's the one who came up with the idea and I just put it in motion,” he continued. Rodroy also explained that this is the second such competition hosted by the resort. He was quick to emphasise, however, that it was the first of this nature; as the first one was a team-based competition.

“I came up with this competition because we have hidden talent and this is an opportunity for the team members to showcase their skills. It was interesting to see three sous chefs; a young man who has been here for only two months; a young lady from the pastry shop who only specialises in cakes; all competing,” commented Roper. He went on to share that he is extremely proud of the competitors and in his eyes they are all winners. He also highlighted that he is looking forward to this being an annual competition as well as opening it up to neighbouring sister resorts, Sandals Ochi and Sandals Royal Plantation.

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