Features

Shorne Benjamin – St. Lucia’s Master Chef: Cooking Caribbean Delights with New Age Flair

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St. Lucia has always been known for its twin peaks, the Pitons and its two Nobel Laureates. A few years ago, the island would become famous for  one of its daughters who became a  runner-up  in one  of  the  world’s  top  reality  cooking  shows.

Never before has St. Lucia garnered so much attention as a result of the culinary skills of one of its nationals, namely Chef Nina Compton. She performed spectacularly before an International audience numbering in the millions. She was then succeeded by a son of the soil who would perform just as outstandingly.

Given the amazing successes of these two chefs, it’s no wonder that more talented young chefs are emerging and touching the lives of many.

Meet 36-year old Chef Shorne Benjamin, a St. Lucian master chef based in Brooklyn, New York. For the past seven years he has gained popularity for his ability to infuse Lucian cuisine with a modern flair.

Shorne Benjamin hails from Entrepot, Castries. A past student of the Marchand Combined and Leon Hess Comprehensive Secondary, he left St. Lucia in 1998 to study finance at Mercy College in New York. Subsequently, he landed a job as a stockbroker at the Bank of New York Mellon on Wall Street. When the tides got rough during the 2008-09 financial crisis, Chef Shorne had to reconsider his career path. He attended and graduated from the French Culinary Institute in New York. He currently resides at Andaz 5th Avenue and is the Executive Chef of his own catering company, ShorCulinaire. We sat down with Chef Shorne to discuss the spicy experiences that have flavoured his career path and taken him to where he is today.

Tell us about your origins and what led to to you becoming Chef Shorne. Continue reading

Terril Nicholas – Jewellery is Redefining Art

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Earrings from pop tabs of canned drinks you say? I mean who would have thought of that? Necklaces and keychains made from spoons? Well I’ll be! Might shock you and I but for the creator/artist/designer of Illuminating Designs, it’s simply all in a day’s work. And work she takes great pride in.

Terril Nicholas developed a passion for creating jewellery from as far back as her secondary school days and despite every other career opportunity she has had, fashion jewellery making is the one that has clutched her heartstrings to this day. 

Terril’s jewellery crafting started out with creating bracelets from rope and beads, which quickly became popular, encouraging her to challenge herself to make more interesting pieces from rather unusual materials. Some of her pieces are created from upcycling, which is the process of using discarded or old materials to create something useful and beautiful. The materials include, pop tabs of canned drinks and used plastic bottles, in addition to all-new and imported materials such as enamelled copper, beads and trinkets, and her signature element, stainless steel spoons. Yes, spoons! 

Of course, Team Dazzle was totally intrigued by the works of this artiste and could not resist finding out more about what’s behind this creative company, Illuminating Designs. Wait ‘til you read about some of the crazy requests she has received. Dig in Dazzlers! Continue reading

Sabbatus Hunte – on the Hunt for Goals

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Sabbatus Hunte  longed for the freedom to play sports to the fullest. Growing up in Dennery where the passion for sports was fierce and intense, he was infused with a competitive zeal.

Though he initially started playing cricket at the junior level, it was soccer that helped widen his horizons. Along the way he was fortunate to attain professional qualifications in physical education  and sports development, while maintaining his prowess as a tough and wily footballer.

He has played with the Dennery team for the past 10 years, serving as captain. Known to his fans as ‘The General’ in defense, his energy is relentless and he has a steely grip on the game.

Sabbatus is a Manchester United fan and his idol is Rio Ferdinand. He admires Fernandez’s defensive skills and tries to emulate them to further enhance his own talents.

His yearns to develop the sport at the ‘grass-roots’ level and wants to be a role model for the youths. Presently. He’s a teacher at the Grand Riviere Secondary school.

Sabbatus took Dazzle on a journey into his development as a footballer. Continue reading

Daniel Marcion: Presenting ‘Belle Portwe’ – Anything Else will just be a PICTURE

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When a young man overcomes personal heartbreak and manages to transform that bitter experience into a ‘celebration of life’ through artistic creativity, such accomplishment is a fulfilment in itself.

Daniel Marcion was just perusing his architectural career when he lost his loved one, Sheena in 2010. They had been together for about 10 years. Instead of giving in to despair, he overcame his grief by channelling his energies into developing his flair for photographic art. Sheena was the one who had given him a digital camera originally given to her by her step-dad as a gift. Before she died, she had always encouraged Daniel to stay focused on life and don’t allow her personal experience to hold him back and with that he took her advice.

After Sheena’s passing, Daniel “took that energy and used it to fuel me forward.” In hindsight, he turned to photographic art as a tribute to her. “Because of her, I am pushing this thing to literally get me focused

… It is like a tribute to her,” says Daniel. I prayed for strength and was blessed with close friends and family who were supportive and I’m thankful to them all the time. Continue reading

Mandisa Morrison – Shoe Rehab Helps You Walk with Flair and Style

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Shoe Rehab Helps You Walk with Flair and Style. Throw in passion, innovation, exquisite workmanship and shoe-repair mastery and you’ve got Shoe Rehab – not your typical shoe repair company.

The company is the brainchild of Mandisa Morrison who has changed the status quo for shoe repair and restoration in Saint Lucia. She spoke to Dazzle Magazine about her business ventures and the challenges she has faced as a young entrepreneur.

Dazzle: Please share your story with us.

Mandisa: I own and operate Shoe Rehab, a shoe repair business that was launched in June 2013. The concept for the business blossomed when I realized that there was no outlet in the north for anyone who needed shoe repairs. People used roadside repair stalls in Castries but the standard was not of the highest level. I did some market research and discovered there is a demand for a better service, so I opened my first store. Continue reading

Aimran Simmons – Rise of a Music Maestro: Nothing and no one can keep him down

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Often, when we hear a song, the first thing that comes to mind is who’s the artiste?

One must always remember that in order to create a song, there needs to be a vocalist (artiste), the writer and the producer.

For the past few years our ears have been delighted by the infectious sounds from a veteran pan player. He has produced some of the biggest hits for St. Lucia’s carnival. His résumé boasts a host of impressive productions, including the Road March-winning HURT IT by JMouse, as well as MADD TING and INDIAN GIRL by Ricky T. Added to that, he was the producer behind Ricky T’s Mega hit THREE PEAT back in 2011.

Meet Aimran Simmons affectionately   known as PanmanAimran of Marchand, the  mastermind producer behind those hits and many more. Aimran founded Studio No Xcitement five years ago. The studio is situated at Entrepot and has welcomed the likes of Soca King Ricky T, Ambi, J Mouse, and most recently, Mongstar. We sat down with Aimran at our offices to get an insight into his rise to fame to become one of St. Lucia’s biggest and most talented musician/ music producers. Continue reading

‘Know where you are, and where you want to get to’ – Kurt Elibox

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There have been many cries in our society regarding the heightened levels of unemployment, particularly among the youth.

Sometimes it is necessary to take things into your own hands by creating employment, not just for yourself but for others as well, rather than depending on other people or the government to provide jobs for the youth.

Meet 28-year-old Kurt Elibox, the founder of Blueprint Construction Ltd. Kurt is a back-to-back winner of the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for 2013 and 2014 in the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce Business Awards. A past student of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College and the Castries Comprehensive Secondary, he was born to Franklyn Emmanuel and Magitha Elibox and hails from the community of Bexon.

Kurt founded Blueprint Construction Ltd in 2011 after a five-year stint at Sandals Resorts. Growing up, he enjoyed building kabowé (toy cars) and birdhouses. It was this passion and the desire to realise his dream of owning his own construction company, which led him to the creation of Blueprint Construction Ltd. To date, Kurt owns a group of companies comprising more than five subsidiaries, managed by Blueprint Group Inc. They include Blueprint Construction Ltd., Blueprint Entertainment Inc, Blueprint Farms, Blueprint Handyman Inc, Blueprint Tool Rentals & Blueprint Hardware Ltd. Continue reading

Miguel ‘Migz’ Joseph- Feel the Riddim, Catch the Vibez

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It’s time to put a face to the sound and introduce you to the man behind the music. To see him is not to know him or all he is about. His demeanour is unassuming. He moves through a crowd calling no attention to himself and stands in quiet observation. If you’re not told, you wouldn’t know because his passion lies in his music and not the superficiality of fame.

His story began on December 12, 1984 when his Mom, Regina Joseph gave birth to this musical talent. Miguel ‘Migz’ Joseph was raised by his mother and grandmother in the quiet community of Entrepot. Whilst enrolled as a student at the Entrepot Secondary School, Miguel developed an interest in steel pan. This was the key which unlocked his potential, leading Miguel to pursue music professionally. He is a certified musician, having completed up to Grade 5 in Music Theory and Grade 2 in Music Practical, with steel pan as his instrument of focus. Continue reading

Breaking Boundaries: the amazing art of Kimberly Solana

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Kimberly Solana lives and breathes art and it practically flows through her veins. Despite that, she struggled with it at St. Joseph’s Convent, to the extent that she could never have imagined that her childhood home would eventually house the future 8ttava Boutique where art envelopes every single detail of the atmosphere.

8ttava Boutique is located at McVane Drive, four houses to the left of the St. Lucia Blind Welfare Association in Sans Souci. This is where she spends most of her time lost in music, painting, piles of beautiful clothing and handmade jewelry. Kimberly is the creative director of 8ttava, the brand which epitomizes her rebirth. She was born in Abeline, Texas and has spent exactly half of her life in the United States. The other half she has lived in Saint Lucia, the “beautiful rock” she calls home. Dazzle had the pleasure of chatting with her about her work.

What does 8ttava mean? Continue reading

Corniel Lionel – Pumped up and Firing up the Tracks!

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Most young athletes grow up emulating a hero of their sport, aspiring to be as good as that individual. Our next sports feature, Corniel Lionel, never aspired to be as good as his hero; he aspires to be better!

Raised in Marisule, Corniel developed a love for track from a young age, and has since gone on to enjoy many successes in the sport. He recalls the thrill of the yearly Inter-Secondary School Championship and how it contributed to honing his talent while he was a student of the Entrepot Secondary School.

The championships fueled great rivalry and heartbreaking disappointment, and it fostered the building of lifelong friendships. The rivalry in particular, infused Corniel and his fellow athletes with a great sense of pride and a love for competition at the secondary school level. Continue reading

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