Territory's Chefs Take Silver in ‘Taste of the Caribbean’

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A team of chefs from the U.S. Virgin Islands Culinary Team won the overall silver medal in the "Taste of the Caribbean" competition held June 20-24 in Miami, according to a news release from the V.I. Hotel and Tourism Association.

Puerto Rico was the overall winner, with chef Devon Joseph of Trinidad and Tobago winning the title of Caribbean Chef of the Year.

Individual winners from the territory were:

– Chef of the Year, Silver Medal – Negust Kaza of Tutto Bene
– Bartender, Bronze – Algernon Boston of the Ritz
– Pastry Chef, Gold – Eric Burrell, Ritz
– Junior Chef of the Year, Silver – Ilejah Crabbe of the Ritz
– Seafood, Gold Medal – Dennis Vanterpool of the Marriott
– Beef Competition, Bronze – Kaza, Tutto Bene
– Cheese Competition, Silver – Gary Goolrachan, Carambola golf course

Hotel and Tourism Association President Lisa Hamilton said she was proud of the team.

"Winning silver overall, and taking medals in most of the categories offered, is impressive in and of itself and I’m happy at how well they did," Hamilton said.

Puerto Rico’s team received top honors as Caribbean Culinary Team of the Year. Jamaal Bowen of Barbados was named Caribbean Bartender of the Year, Pablo Colon of Puerto Rico claimed the Caribbean Pastry Chef of the Year title and Isaiah Connel of Trinidad and Tobago was named Caribbean Junior Chef of the Year.

Chefs from Barbados, St. Lucia, Haiti, the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Curacao, Jamaica and Anguilla also took home honors

The road to Taste of the Caribbean starts with each of the participating islands or island groups holding individual competitions to select the three chefs, one pastry chef and one bartender that will make their national team.

Taste of the Caribbean is a hot food competition in which the competitors cook and present food to be judged on taste as well as execution of skills and presentation. Each team receives the same ingredients, including meat, fish, poultry or game.

Teams have a set time in which to create and submit a menu, prepare and serve an appetizer, entrée and dessert to conference attendees for tasting in the Restaurant of the Nations, the Taste of the Caribbean competition dining room.

The event was sponsored by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association along with MasterCard Worldwide. Further information on the Taste of the Caribbean is available online at http://www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com/events-taste/event-taste-about.php.

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