PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – 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.
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.
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 centerpiece 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.
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
Trinidad & Tobago is located in the southeastern region of the Caribbean. With its careful approach to tourism, the dual-island nation offers a distinct blend of culture, eclectic cuisine and an assortment of eco-adventure activities. Trinidad, the ‘cultural capital of the Caribbean,’ is home to the world famous Carnival and the birthplace of the steel pan, the only new musical instrument to be invented in the 20th century. It is also home to one of the world’s top three nesting sites for endangered leatherback turtles and world class fine flavored cocoa. Tobago, sister island to Trinidad, is the quintessential Caribbean paradise with secluded beaches, quaint villages, private villas and award-winning eco-attractions that include the Main Ridge Rainforest, the oldest protected reserve in the western hemisphere and the six-time award winner for World’s Leading Ecotourism Destination by the World Travel Awards.
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