In other parts of Kingston last Saturday, Suga was asked to host NKRC’s Wing Sauce Competition, which is also a fundraiser with proceeds going towards their Community Service Projects. The competition was held at Red Stripe’s playfield on Spanish Town Road. I was amongst great company as Jahson Peart from Pop-Up Gourmet Jamaica and Amanda McCreath from Gourmet Jamaica were the other two judges.
There were 9 teams on the day including 6 Rotaract clubs, 2 Rotary Clubs and 1 independent team, all with creative names for their sauces and exciting team names as well.
It was a hot day out but the teams came out with their members and supporters in full force. Well except for one lone ranger from Rotary Club of New Kingston (A Jus Me One). Thankfully he was supported by a few of his club members towards the end of the competition. Teams were observed from start to end.
All teams were asked to highlight 3 ingredients in their sauce, Otaheite Apple, which was the secret ingredient that was revealed to them on the day, as well as the mystery ingredients, Red Stripe Sorrel Beer and Rosemary. Club support, their sales pitch, theme and decor of their booth as well as plating and of course the taste of their wings were all scoring criteria. However even with high scores for all of that, if they failed to highlight the 3 ingredients and show some originality with a great tasting sauce, which carried the majority of the points, they would finish with a very low score.
Teams were also asked to incorporate Yaad Flava sauces that were being promoted that day such as the The Yaad Flava Spicy Ketchup, Pimento BBQ, Molasses and Jamaican Jerk Gourmet Blend sauces. Suga has promoted Yaad Flava on this website before when introduced to them at Sovereign Supermarket, so knew that if not scantily used, they could easily overpower the originality of the teams’ sauces. They have a very strong, sharp flavour and really shouldn’t even be used with anything else. They are great on their own.
All teams showed remarkable effort whether they placed in the top 3 or not.
The Rotaract Club of St. Andrew looked the most professional, all uniformed in team shirts and black aprons with a member who delivered a sales pitch in an all black suit. The taste of their sauce was lovely and it was impressive that the taste aligned with their sales pitch of it being sweet then spicy, which is not easy to pull off.
The Rotaract Club of Liguanea Plains did very well across the board, finishing 4th. Their plating was very impressive apart from the overload of Rosemary, sauce was delicious and required ingredients were highlighted.
New Kingston Rotaract Club boasted culinary style, hotel-like plating. THE best plating in the competition, even being presented on different levels.
Tristen, who finished 5th also looked very Professional in Chef jackets and scored high points for use of the main ingredients.
The Rotaract Club of the University of the West Indies Mona, who finished 3rd, had cheerleaders, tonnes of crowd and member support. They had impressive plating, originality and their sauce was delicious.
Interestingly, the sauces from the two Rotary clubs (Rotary Club of Kingston East and Port Royal and Rotary Club of New Kingston) were the least exciting of the bunch. But it was a fantastic look that they participated with good spirit. They were entertaining, creative with their sales pitch and had a good theme.
Second place winners, Rotaract Club of Kingston aka 50 Shades of K, were quite entertaining and creative. Impressive plating. The best decor. Originality was off the charts and their sauce had a nice, sharp taste with the essence of required ingredients.
That leaves us with the winners. All the other clubs failed to highlight ALL 3 required ingredients effectively. However the Rose Grillaz from the Rotaract Club of University of Technology were the clear winners with their Rosella Soiree sauce. The only team whose sauce actually had the colour of the secret ingredient, Otaheite apple. When asked how they did that. One of their chefs confidently broke down their preparation process starting with how ‘dem draw the apple’, continuing to talk about straining and measuring etc. They clearly had it down to a science. Not surprising right? Because they have a Food Lab and this is their 3rd consecutive year winning. Perhaps it should be called the UTECH Wing Sauce Award of Excellence next year with a member of their Hospitality crew on the judging panel. A team with absolutely poor plating and decor walked away with the trophy. They were confident that they were the sauce boss and their skit with cheerleaders informed us of that. Overwhelming support was there for them as well.
Suga was really impressed with the effort put out by all teams, their competitive nature, their interest to do post mortems and of course originality and creativity of their sauces. Congratulations again to the winners, Rotaract Club of UTECH and hope to see you and more clubs next year!