Chopped win propels Jamaican chef into spotlight
By Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon
CJ Travel Editor
Move over, Usain Bolt; there’s another Jamaican in the spotlight.
This time it’s Kingston-born, New York city-based chef Andre Fowles, who competed on this week’s episode of the Food Network’s cooking show, “Chopped,” and walked away with the title of Chopped Champion and a $10,000 prize.
The theme of the episode was “Cooking Caribbean,” a perfect fit for Fowles, who cooks Caribbean food every day at Miss Lily’s Jamaican/Caribbean restaurants in New York. For the appetizer round, Fowles whipped up Jamaican-Spiced Shrimp with Papaya Chutney, and presented his version of the island favorite, curry goat, as an entrée . From a dessert round mystery basket containing sweet potatoes, mango, sugarcane and rum, Fowles crafted a sweet potato mousse with candied mangoes that eventually gave him the edge over the other three contestants, Trini chefs Brandon Soverall and Keisha Bocage, and Miamian Rocco Nankervis.
Chef Fowles began cooking professionally at 17, and was formerly sous chef at Jamaica’s Round Hill, where he cooked for Paul McCartney and designer Ralph Lauren during his four-year stint.
Now 27, the graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and Jamaica’s Runaway Bay Academy is currently sous chef at Miss Lily’s, overseeing the kitchens in its Soho and East Village, New York locations. He says he will use the prize money to travel to England to reunite with his mother, who he hasn’t seen in 15 years.
Watch the Cooking Caribbean episode again when it reruns on Thursday, March 3 at 9pm ET; Friday, March 4 at midnight; and Saturday, March 5 at 5pm ET. And stay tuned for another Fowles sighting in “Chopped Champions,” which airs later this year.