President of CWS Camille Kerr with Corey Bryan, son of CWS 2016 Christmas Cake Contest winner, Valerie Bryan.
Jamaican baker Valerie Bryan did her island proud and captured first place for her version of Caribbean Christmas cake, or “black cake”, at the first annual Caribbean Women’s Society (CWS) Christmas Cake competition.
According to CWS President Camille Kerr, CWS is a grassroots, non-profit organization focused on improving the quality of life for the Caribbean-Canadian community; built on inclusion, diversity and innovation, “Our mission is to connect and enable Caribbean-Canadian women, in order to achieve a vision of a thriving Caribbean-Canadian community,” she explained.
She added the Caribbean Christmas Cake Contest & fundraiser aimed at bringing multiple generations and nationalities together to celebrate their shared coveted tradition. Indeed, the contestants who represented the islands of Jamaica, Trinidad and St. Lucia were all seasoned bakers, who remembered baking with their grandmothers, and who today do the same with their own children and grandchidren. While the bakers held their family recipes closely guarded secrets, they were obviously proud of their fruity, alcohol soaked and moist creations which they submitted for judging.
Winning baker Valerie Bryan’s son, Corey Bryan accepted the CWS trophy on her behalf and told TDN News he expected her cake to do well, “It’s heavenly! It’s rich, moist and flavourful. She puts a lot of care and hardwork into it. This is her own recipe that she’s been perfecting over the years.”
The family friendly event was held at the Twilight Family Restaurant at 55 Nugget Ave in Toronto, with the proceeds going to CWS’s causes. The CWS will also hold its annual Toy-Gifting Social & Fundraiser event on December 11.
The CWS Executive consists of Camille Kerr– Chair, President & Treasurer, Chantal Carter – Public Relations, Shivaun Chauhan-Serioux – Secretary, Chenelle McGill – Events, Jasmine Thomas – Events, Joanne Noton – Events, and Tracey Mendez – Scouting & Recruiting.
(left to right) President CWS Camille Kerr, bakers Albertha Ellis-St.Lucia and Kay Adams-Trinidad with family member, and Corey Bryan representing baker Valerie Bryan-Jamaica. Missing are participating bakers Nova and Carmen Vaughan-Burnett.