PATRONS of the third annual Priests Can Cook fund-raising event on September 27, at the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain have been promised a feast of gourmet food plus music from champions.
A release from Monsignor Esau Joseph, vicar for the clergy in the RC Archdiocese of Port of Spain also said the fund-raising event is being hosted jointly by the staff of the Catholic Education Board of Management (CEBM) and the staff of Archbishop’s House, with support from the past students of St Joseph’s Convent (PoS) and St Mary’s College, two of the iconic and oldest secondary schools in this country.
CEBM is responsible for managing the 118 public primary schools owned by the Catholic church in TT, which represent 25 per cent of the public primary schools, with approximately 29,000 children of all ethnicities and religious denominations in attendance.
Joseph said church authorities are unhappy with the relatively high number of “under-performing” schools in their fold and accept that they have a responsibility to address the situation. Hence Priests Can Cook began in 2017.
Profits from the first edition were used to fix the physical infrastructure in four of the neediest schools in south and north Trinidad, while last year’s event proceeds are funding a literacy programme in ten of the under-performing schools. The programme includes coaching and monitoring to track the progress of the principals and senior teachers of the selected schools.
This year’s profits will be used for 12 of the other under-performing schools.
A percentage of the net profits will go towards the relief effort to assist Caribbean neighbours in the Bahamas.
At Priests Can Cook, patrons will experience the culinary skills of the priests, deacons and parishioners from the 61 parishes of the church throughout the country, plus a few guest chefs.
Most cooks will bring their already-prepared dishes to the venue, but there will also meals cooked on spot. Among those cooking on spot will be Fr Kenneth Assing of Blanchisseuse parish, the flamboyant deacon Derek Walcott and former CIC goalkeeper, now a professional chef, Michel Peters of Mt Lambert parish.
Other high-profile cooks’ names will remain a secret for now but patrons can look out for them on the day of the event.
CIC past students will bring their specially prepared roast pig, while St Benedict’s College, St Anthony’s College and the two Presentation Colleges (San Fernando and Chaguanas) will also come with their specialties.
As for the entertainment, it will begin with two family groups, the Cartar family, comprising Dax, Phillip and Angelique, and the Gooding family expected to deliver an interesting repertoire. Los Alumnos de San Juan, led by parang queen Alicia Jaggassar, are also on the playbill, as is singer Rikki Jai.
Reigning Panorama champions, BPTT Renegades Steel Orchestra, just back from successful overseas performances, will close off the night’s entertainment.
Tickets cost $275 and are available from all RC parish offices and the Living Water Community on Frederick Street in Port of Spain.
Patrons can also win door prizes and secured parking has been arranged in an enclosed area at the venue.