The big, wide grin on Dr. Anthony Sterling’s face most of last week was understandable.
The dentist was not only showing off rows of his perfectly white teeth as an advertisement for his Peel business, but he was celebrating with a winning smile his mouth-watering beef ribs & garlic mashed potato entrée that clinched the top prize at last Saturday’s Celebrity Chef “Men Who Cook” fundraiser in Brampton.
He also captured the People’s Choice award.
Funds accrued from the event over the last 16 years go to the United Achievers Club of Brampton (UACB) scholarship program and, more recently, the Brampton Civic Hospital to treat sickle cell patients.
This is the fourth straight year that Sterling – who earlier last week was named one of this year’s Harry Jerome Award winners – has participated in the event.
“This is the best community activity that I am engaged in,” said Sterling who financially supports many community initiatives. “I appreciate the work that United Achievers have been doing and I am just doing my part by giving a little back.”
The competition is split into four categories – appetizers, entrees, desserts and soups/salads.
Last year’s entrees champion, Bill Carter, was the runner-up with his stewed chicken and white rice. The business owner has the distinction of been the only chef to appear in all 16 events.
“When you look at what United Achievers has been doing to help our young people financially, for me to come out for a few hours on a Saturday night once a year and help raise funds is really not asking much of me,” said the Jamaican-born electrician who came here in 1976 via England.
Carter said he has been cooking since he was eight years old.
“My mother and grandmother had a policy where all the boys in our home had to wash and cook,” he said. “They taught us at a young age how to be self-sufficient.”
Carter’s sons – Adrian and Jason – won the desserts award the only year they took part in the fundraiser.
Peel District School Board trustee and Free for All Youth Foundation executive director, David Green, who migrated from Jamaica three decades ago, was one of several newcomers.
“This is the first year this event has not conflicted with something else, so I am privileged to be here,” said Green who presented Mommy’s Flavour Soup which his grandmother taught him to prepare at age 15.
“My grandmother made sure that every afternoon after I came home from school, I could watch The Flintstones or The Little Rascals before she would come after me with the frying pan demanding that I come into the kitchen to watch her cook. She told me this would assist me later on in life as no woman would be able to fool me.”
A total of 29 chefs, including lawyers, a police officer, credit manager, Member of Parliament, aviation consultant and a provincial prosecutor were part of this year’s occasion.
UACB member, Inez Ayres, conceived the idea for the fundraiser.
“She came from the United States where it’s popular and she suggested we try it,” recalled UACB immediate past president, Marjorie Taylor, who wore the same apron she appeared in at the inaugural event in 1997. “It has been a huge success.”
Courtney Guy clinched the appetizers award with his Cajun shrimp in a filo cup; Carl Thompson, who prepared a Barbadian-Italian decadent combo, copped the desserts prize and Linden King’s The Royal Specialty won the soups/salads contest.
Karlos Witley of Jamaica House Kitchen was voted the Chef of the Year for his curried goat supreme served with rice.
By RON FANFAIR