‘Cooking wid gas’
The Barbados national chef team has dominated the just-ended Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s Taste of the Caribbean event in Miami, by winning gold as Team of the Year and placing first in three additional categories. Those additional categories are Team Competition, Seafood Competition and Junior Chef of the Year. The local chefs also placed second in Chef of the Year, Bartender of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year, Beef Competition and Rum of the Puerto Rico Competitions. The team also received top prizes for Best Use of Beef, Best Seafood and Most Creative Use of Ingredients in the Bartender section.
“We did fantastically,” was how team manager Michael Harrison described their performance.
Harrison conceded that the best prize of all was the Caribbean Team of the Year. However, he noted that the preparation was rough.
“We practised twice a week for the first couple of months and then as it got closer, we increased it to three days a week, every week without fail, even on bank holidays,” pointed out the team manager.
He said they always had planned to win team of the year and “a couple” of other medals. Harrison observed that the culinary teams never lost sight and kept pressing on.
“So when we won the prize, it was like, ummm, it all paid off. It was the most amazing feeling ever,” he declared.
Harrison said having been part of the last year’s contingent, he was in a position to say, this time around, the team was more united.
“It was a real unit, a real team and the judges saw that; and the other teams saw that as well. So it was just beautiful.”
The local contingent to the June 26 to 30 event, also comprised training managers, Graham Licorish and Peter Edey and chefs Andre Nurse, Nathan Crichlow and Kenneth Whittington.
Also making up the team were junior chef Javon Cummins, pastry chef Julian Broome and bartender Rohan Hackshaw. The Barbados culinary team has been performing outstandingly over the years, by bringing home a number of medal and titles, including Team of the Year, Chef of the Year and Most Innovative Menu, as well as the first Bartender of the Year title in 2012.
Taste of the Caribbean is the annual celebration of Caribbean cuisine and beverage. It also provides the opportunity for the contestants to network, polish professional skills and cheer on colleagues, as they compete before a large audience of industry peers and consumer culinary enthusiasts. The full 2013 Taste of the Caribbean results for Barbados are:
1. Caribbean Team of the Year
2. Gold – Team Competition
3. Gold – Seafood Competition – Nathan Crichlow
4. Gold – Junior Chef of the Year – Javon Cummins
5. Silver – Chef of the Year – Andre Nurse
6. Silver – Bartender of the Year – Rohan Hackshaw
7. Silver – Pastry Chef of the Year – Julian Broome
8. Silver – Beef Competition – Kenneth Whittington
9. Silver – Rum of Puerto Rico Competition – Rohan Hackshaw
10. Silver – Cheesecake Competition – Julian Broome
11. Best use of Beef – Kenneth Whittington
12. Best Seafood – Nathan Crichlow
13. Most creative use of ingredients – Rohan Hackshaw