Chef Suresh Amarathunga of Barracuda Grill. *Photo by Mikaela Ian Pearman
Chef Suresh Amarathunga of Barracuda Grill. *Photo by Mikaela Ian Pearman
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Two chefs last night competed for the title of best canapé in Bermuda. 

Zaid Kahn and Suresh Amarathunga battled it out at the Bermuda Gas Showroom tonight in a baby shrimp competition. 

Chef Kahn of Hog Penny and Chef Amarathunga of Barracuda Grill tantalized the palates of the judges and the audience with delicious canapés. 

One bite

A canapé is a small, decorative bite of food, usually eaten in one bite. 

Both chefs were given a black box courtesy of Butterfield and Vallis filled with shrimp, cucumber, rosemary, cherry tomato, red onion, croissant, curry roll and thyme roll. 

They were required to make three canapés- one hot, one cold and one discretionary. 

Since it was the finals, the judges threw in a second mystery box filled with imitation crab, apple and potatoes. 

This box was to be used to create a fourth canapé. The chefs had to use all of the ingredients in the challenge. 

Asked how the competition went, Chef Kahn said: “It went well. It was a bit of fun. 

“The mystery box was interesting but yes, we had a good time. 

“It was friendly rivalry between the two restaurants.”

Chef Amarathunga added: “I’m very happy to be here. It was really interesting. 

“I enjoyed it.”

The night started with a special strawberry rhubarb pie cocktail by Andrew Holmes of Goslings. 

Kendall-Jackson Avant Chardonnay and Carmel Road Pinot Noir were passed around during the night as well. 

Culinary students from the Bermuda College were on hand to watch the chefs at work. 

Laurel Burns hosted the event and was able to engage the audience, judges and chefs. 

Chef Kahn was the first chef to cook and he explained what he was doing the entire time. 

He managed to cook four dishes in 23 minutes including a shrimp and salmon sausage canapé and a sweet and sour shrimp. 

Chef Amarathunga was up next and made his four dishes in 27 minutes, which included a shrimp in puff pastry. 

In addition to the competing chef’s canapés, the audience was also treated to a chicken and waffle bite from chef Tom Tabor of Victoria Grill and a spicy flank steak lettuce wrap from Chef Nakia Smith.

Showcase

At the end, David DeSilva of Bermuda Gas thanked the audience for attending the event. 

“This is a first time event. It’s been a learning experience for everyone… Hopefully next year, we can make it bigger and better. 

“I think this, especially if you’re foodies, is what it’s all about. I can never cook like this.

On behalf of Bermuda Gas, thanks everyone. I hope you have enjoyed this.”

Head chef of the Island Restaurant Group Derek Myers, plus the owners of Hog Penny and Barracuda Grill were also at the event. 

He said: “They used to have this competition here a few years ago and I think Bermuda missed that. I think the people want to see who’s cooking and what they do outside their regular menus. 

“Its good to have chefs outside of their restaurants to showcase what they do.”

Judges included Carla Lacey of the Bermuda Hospitality Institute and Chef Livio of Bonefish Restaurant.

The winner will be announced today at 6pm at the City Food Festival in the Number One Car Park.