The V.I. culinary team showed that the territory’s chefs can hold their own with the best in the region at the 2013 Taste of the Caribbean competition in Miami last week.
The competition, hosted by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, lasted from Wednesday to Sunday and pitted chefs against each other in range of disciplines, such as seafood, pastries and even ice sculpting.
Other island teams included Barbados, Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Anguilla, Curacao, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Suriname and Bonaire.
The V.I. team did not win any of the competitions, but the territory’s chefs walked away with several awards.
In addition to naming an overall winner for each event, judges handed out gold, silver and bronze medals to chefs based on the individual merit of their dish.
Brandon DeCloux and Eric Burrell III both came home with gold medals in the bartending and pastry competitions respectively.
Dennis Vanterpool won a pair of silver medals, one in the beef competition and the other in the chef of the year competition.
Ilejah Crabbe was awarded a bronze medal in the junior chef of the year competition. Garry Klinefelter also took bronze in the seafood competition as did George Sittig in the cheesecake competition.
The V.I. team took a silver in the overall Caribbean national team competition and both a gold and silver in the “rums of Puerto Rico mystery basket” competition.
The winners are as follows:
-Chef of the Year: Brian Lumley, Jamaica;
– Bartender of the Year: Roberto Rodriquez, Puerto Rico;
– Pastry Chef of the Year: Sheldon Tracey Sweeting, Bahamas;
– Junior Chef of the Year: Naomi Lovell, Trinidad and Tobago;
– Ice Carving: Hamac Palms, Jamaica;
– Seafood Competition: Nathan Crichlow, Barbados;
– Beef Competition: Jamal Small, Bahamas;
– Cheesecake Competition: Teresa Clarke, Jamaica;
– Caribbean National Team: Barbados;
– Rums of Puerto Rico Mystery Basket Competition: Puerto Rico;
– Best Team: Trinidad and Tobago;
– People’s Choice: Puerto Rico;
– Best Use of Chocolate: Bahamas;
– Best Use of Angus Beef: Nathan Crichlow, Barbados;
– Most Innovative Indigenous Ingredients: Bonaire;
– Most Impressive/Creative Menu: Anguilla;
– Best Vodka Drink: Trinidad and Tobago;
– Best Non Alcoholic Drink: Puerto Rico;
– Most Creative Cocktail: Barbados;
– Spirit Award: Bahamas.