What’s cooking: Dakia O’Brien is the proud winner of the Chef Competition 2014. *Photo by Mikaela Ian Pearman
What’s cooking: Dakia O’Brien is the proud winner of the Chef Competition 2014. *Photo by Mikaela Ian Pearman

Bermudian chef Dakia O’Brien is the winner of the City of Hamilton’s Chef Competition.

Chef Dakia, owner of Dae ‘N’ Night Catering beat out four other chefs to claim the top prize. The Bermuda Sun featured an interview with her about the business last week. 

She competed on Thursday night at the finals against Chef Alex Emerson of Barracuda Grill and Chef Raj Unoruth of Hog Penny.

The 27-year-old was the only Bermudian and the only female in the finals. Chef Dakia wowed the crowd with three canapés that had to include the four main ingredients — blue cheese, pecans, lump crab and salami.

Her canapés were a salami and blue cheese biscuit, crab meat with a raspberry pecan vinaigrette, a salami meat chip with crab salad, blue cheese, pecans and a balsamic reduction and a ‘no poached egg’ benedict — candied salami crostini with a crab cake and blue cheese hollandaise.

Chef Dakia was announced as the winner of the competition at the City Food Festival on Saturday at Victoria Park. Chef Raj came second place and Chef Alex placed third.

Speaking after her win, Chef Dakia said: “I was shocked. I had a small feeling that I might win but when they announced Raj’s name as the runner up, I was shocked.”

Asked about the dishes she made, she said: “I wasn’t 100 per cent confident in my food. I was more content and satisfied with everything I had made and I just wanted to do it the best I could and get it over with.

“I didn’t have any preconceived notions about winning. I just wanted to get out there and do my best.”

She continued: “This competition is something I would have never done. Thomas, on the staff at the Corporation of Hamilton, encouraged me to do it.

“At this point, with the business just starting, I thought it would be a great opportunity.”

Chef Dakia said competing was difficult for her because she doesn’t do well in front of crowds.

“I don’t talk. I’m not a people person and competing brought out different things in me that I never thought I had.

“It’s brought out a new confidence in me.”

Chef Dakia said she will take her winner’s cheque of $500 and put it back into her business. 

For information on Chef Dakia or to place orders, visit www.daennight.com.