Competition and camaraderie were on the menu Sunday at the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) third annual Police Men Can Cook competition.
Police officers and national security organisations outside the TTPS, which included the Municipal Police and the Parliamentary Police gathered at the Pavilion of the Queen’s Park Savannah, to see which division had the best chefs. While all participants agreed that the day was more about seeking fellowship and camaraderie with their fellow officers, each division put their best foot– or rather their best dish– forward to be awarded with a challenge trophy.
Two time winners, the Tobago Division hoped to win the day with their signature dish, Coo Coo, Callaloo and Steamed Fish in a Coconut Sauce.
Police Constable Simon of the Tobago Division told Newsday that their secret ingredient which led them to winning two years in a row, was simply togetherness.
“We all learned to cook from seeing our mothers in the kitchen, so we are not professionals.” said Simon. “But once we come together, we take what we know to another level. It is the same with the police service. We need to come together as a unified force to combat crime, and events like these is one of the ways that the police service does this.”
Western Division police officers added to Tobago’s sentiment, saying that police officers also need a day of rest and fun, and events such as the Police Men can Cook competition is an opportunity for police officers to meet outside of the usual professional environment. “It is also my hope that in the coming years more divisions will partake,” said PC Edwards of the Western Division, while he assisted in preparing the division’s signature dish, Honey BBQ Pigtail. “It is about coming together and getting to know one another.”
Healthy competition was also the order of the day. Participants were judged on the taste of their signature dishes, its display and the display of the tents that they prepared their meals in. The participants spared no expense in making sure that everything was in its top order. All 18 participants made delicious signature dishes, along with a general menu. Each tent was decorated in various ways. One tent, with silks and glitter covering it, seemed like a prop from the movie Lawrence of Arabia. Another tent which housed the Southern Division team, had authentic fireside to cook their meals.