June 13, 2016

 

Trinidad and Tobago sizzles at Taste of the Caribbean Awards

Trinidad and Tobago dominated the Taste of the Caribbean Awards in Miami on June 10, sweeping the medals rostrum with six gold medals and two silver medals, as well as the coveted awards for Caribbean National Team of the Year, Chef of the Year and Junior Chef of the Year.

 An annual event hosted by the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA), ‘Taste of the Caribbean’, showcases the best chefs and bartenders from around the region and is often described as an avenue where the Caribbean’s most talented and creative gastronomic practitioners blossom into culinary connoisseurs.  

 Led by team captain Adrian Cumberbatch, the Trinidad and Tobago delegation ensured that our country maintained its sterling record at the Competition. Since 1993, Taste of the Caribbean has been the Caribbean’s leading culinary competition. According to the Trinidad Hotels, Restaurants & Tourism Association (THRTA), the organization responsible for preparing the team for the competition, “The first Trinidad and Tobago National team entered the competition in 1997 and won a bronze medal for kitchen standards and a gold medal in the centrepiece competition. Several national teams were subsequently sent for an additional 11 appearances over a 16-year period and have collectively amassed a haul of 52 medals-comprising 23 Gold, 20 Silver and 9 Bronze medals.”

 Prior to the contest in Miami, the THRTA ensured that the best team represented Trinidad and Tobago through the development of a local competition called Making the CUTT, designed to identify and sharpen the skills of competent culinary practitioners in preparation for the big stage. Following the announcement of the 2016 team, several practice dinners were held as ground work for the Taste of the Caribbean Competition.

 The winners

Team Captain-Adrian Cumberbatch

Caribbean National Team of the Year - Trinidad and Tobago (Gold)  

Chef of the Year – Brandon Maharaj (Gold)

Chef-Jeremy Lovell-Gold medal & winner Beef Competition

Pastry Chef-Kimberly Jagassar (Gold medal & Winner-Pastry Chef of the Year)

Junior Chef-Anneica Mendoza (Gold Medal-Junior Chef of the Year)

Alternate Chef-Adam de Freitas (Gold Medal-Seafood); (Silver Medal-Individual Cheesecake competition)

Bartender-Clinton Ramdhan (Silver Medal-Bartender of the Year)

Alternate Bartender-Kishion Guillaum