The CHA has issued a press release detailing eleven teams of Caribbean chefs, pastry chefs and bartenders will put the spotlight on Caribbean cuisine and tourism at the regional culinary competition Taste of the Caribbean 2004, before an expected audience of 1,000 members of the Caribbean hospitality industry at the upcoming Caribbean Hotel Industry Conference (CHIC 2004). The event will take place at the Wyndham El Conquistador Resort, Puerto Rico, June 13-16, 2004. “Caribbean food and beverage is an integral component of the tourism experience,” said Alec Sanguinetti, director general of the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA), host of the event. “Meanwhile, CHIC is all about the development of the Caribbean tourism product. In this context, Taste of the Caribbean is not just a celebration of Caribbean culinary arts, but a forum for improving quality and professional performance standards.”
The competition is fully subscribed, with national culinary teams confirmed from Anguilla, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, and United States Virgin Islands.
Each national team will compete in a ‘live kitchen’ environment, preparing and serving a 3-course meal for 25 persons in four hours. The teams will be required to design a menu on-site, using only the ingredients in their respective ‘mystery baskets,’ whose contents will not be revealed until the start of the competition.
In these ‘cook-offs,’ the chefs compete against established criteria, not against one another, which allows for a clear definition of excellence and is not affected by the relative levels of the competitors’ skills. “There is no better training value or a greater source of inspiration for Caribbean food and beverage professionals than Taste of the Caribbean,” concluded Sanguinetti, urging hotel and restaurant owners and managers to offer attendance at the event as an employee incentive, which will pay off immediately in improved performance.
The program will culminate with the presentation of the Caribbean Food and Beverage Awards of Excellence, during the CHIC 2004 Closing Banquet.