Team Island Delights
HEAD COOK: Melissa Smith
COMPETITION: World Chicken Championship
My culinary background started at age nine when my mother opened a bar and grocery store. My mother was busy operating the business so she would write the instructions to basic recipes on a piece of paper and then have me prepare the meals. Cooking those meals proved to be very challenging because she never had exact measurements for me to follow, it was always a pinch of salt, a dash of this, and a handful of that. I learned at a very early age to improvise and to get creative when I ruin a dish. I migrated to the United States from Jamaica in January of 2000 with my two sons to join my husband who was stationed on Maxwell Airforce Base in Montgomery Alabama. My husband would always volunteer my services to cook for his squadron or friends and on one of those occasions the base commander suggested that I open a restaurant. Two years later I opened Island Delight, Montgomery's first Caribbean Restaurant. Most of what I prepare at my restaurant is self taught . I have a Batchelors degree in Human Resource management and A Masters in Business Management, I enjoy reading, writing stories and experimenting with new dishes.