The Caribbean Culinary Federation, (CCF), the culinary arm of the Caribbean Hotel Association, (CHA
, has confirmed that it will hold its regional culinary competition Taste of the Caribbean on October 2-5, 2003, in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The four-day event, dubbed å“Battle of the Champions,å” showcases the versatile food and beverage industry of the Caribbean region. It will feature competitions for national culinary teams from across the region, consisting of three chefs, a pastry chef, and a bartender, as well as individual competition categories open to team members and private individuals.
Under the new format of Taste of the Caribbean, competing national teams will prepare and serve a 3-course meal for 40 persons, from recipes that have been submitted and approved by CCF in advance. This replaces the old ‘mystery basket’ system, whereby teams would receive a basket of ingredients, whose contents were not revealed until the start of the competition. Teams were required to design a menu on-site using only the ingredients in their respective baskets. “We redesigned the format of the competition to allow teams the creative liberty to display their culinary mastery, while reflecting the culinary tradition of their island nation, without the limitations,” said Jamaican entrepreneur Peter Rousseau, president of CCF.
To showcase the talent of Jamaica`s food and beverage professionals, the individual competition, ice carving and centerpiece competitions will be open to all Jamaican chefs. “No other region can boast the culinary diversity and sophistication of the Caribbean region,” added Rousseau. “It seemed only fitting that Taste of the Caribbean should celebrate the distinctive cuisine of its host destination, Jamaica, by extending an open invitation to all Jamaican chefs.”
The event, Taste of the Caribbean, will also include seminars, workshops, and demonstrations. A Caribbean
exhibitor trade show will focus on easing access to state-of-the-art Caribbean products and services for Caribbean hospitality professionals, to strengthen the linkages to agriculture in the region. In keeping with CCF tradition, the program will culminate with the presentation of the Caribbean Food and Beverage Awards of Excellence, the highest honors conferred on members of the Caribbean food and beverage industry.
The following prizes will be awarded: National Team of the Year, Chef of the Year, Bartender of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year, Most Innovative Dish, Most Innovative Menu, Most Creative Overall Drink, Spirit of the Competition, Individual Competition, Ice Carver and Centerpiece of the Year.