The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) says Trinidad and Tobago is the new Caribbean National Culinary Team of the Year.
CHTA said last Wednesday that the team won top honors in the finale of the 2018 Taste of the Caribbean culinary competition at the Hyatt Regency in Miami the day before after also winning the Bartender, Best Non-Alcoholic Drink and Beef categories.
Trinidadians in winners’ row included Shana Rajahram, who won the Caribbean Bartender Competition, and Tricia Gregoire, who captured the Certified Angus Beef-sponsored Beef Competition. The Best Non-Alcoholic Drink award also went to Trinidad and Tobago, CHTA said.
It said a dozen teams participated in the highly anticipated Taste of the Caribbean culinary competition, held in Miami June 22-26.
CHTA said it hosted the event and that the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bonaire, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos “selected their best chefs and mixologists for this year’s event.”
Jamall Small from the Bahamas was crowned Caribbean Chef of the Year, while teammate Hazen Rolle was named Caribbean Junior Chef of the Year.
Rolle also received the Hans Schenk Commemorative Award for the Most Innovative Dish Utilizing Indigenous Ingredients, CHTA said.
It said Vadivel Raju from Turks and Caicos won the Caribbean Pastry Chef competition; Radiance Modeste of the British Virgin Islands topped the Seafood competition, while Rodney Corbin of Barbados won the Cemoi-sponsored Chocolate category.
Best Rum Drink went to Bonaire; St. Lucia topped the vodka drink category; and Best Mystery Bar Drink, sponsored by Angostura, went to Curaçao, CHTA said.
It said a combined team representing chefs from some of the Caribbean destinations that were impacted by last September’s hurricanes also competed.
The team — which included members from Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands — won the Tony Mack Spirit of the Competition award, CHTA said.
“CHTA applauds this year’s Taste of the Caribbean participants, their national hotel and tourism associations, team managers and sponsors for another incredible demonstration of passion, purpose and performance,” said Frank Comito, CHTA’s director general and chief executive officer.
“These participants are the future of tourism, and the teamwork and camaraderie on display augurs well for a united Caribbean,” he added.