Team Sizzling Chop City getting instructions from team manager Henderson Butcher. (Picture by Christoff Griffith.)
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Practice makes perfect. With six more weeks to go before the annual Taste Of The Caribbean in Miami, Florida, the reigning Caribbean Team Of the Year, Barbados, have made the kitchens at Divi Southwinds their battleground three days a week.
To get feed back on their progress so far, they held their first practice dinner last week at their training spot.
Rudy Grant, chief executive officer, and Roseanne Myers, chairman of the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association (BHTA) both wished the team well in the competition.
Grant, who spoke lengthily at the podium, said he was extremely happy to give support to the team. He will be in Miami.
“We want to retain bragging rights as defending champions and to keep Barbados top of its class. I hope the feedback we give will benefit the team.
“Taste Of The Caribbean helps chefs to develop and sharpen their skills. As a team it is about working as a unit.”
Specially invited guests saw Team Coriander Vikings go up against Team Sizzling Chop City.
They did a competition-style dinner of starter, main course and dessert. In battle mode their weapons of choice were Caribbean flavours with a twist on things Bajan.
There was pickled squash, bay leaf gel, pork, fish, seafood, eggplant pudding, sorrel gelee and chicken with smoked plantain.
Team manager Henderson Butcher is in a “taking no prisoners” mood.
“We want to be as creative as possible. For the competition we have always done the morning sessions and it has worked well for us so far, so we will see how this year goes. We don’t compete against the other Caribbean teams; we compete against the judges’ criteria.”
Butcher gave some insight into how the competition works such as a creating a menu, prepping for cooking and presenting to the judges.
Ryan Adamson, who won the coveted Bartender Of The Year award last year,
is training the bartender for this year – Alex Chandler.
Chandler presented three drinks competition-style – non-alcoholic, vodka and rum – and his spiel on each was interesting and comedic at times. He finished within his five minutes time limit.
Drawn from various hotels and restaurants around the island, the team in training is Chandler, Shane Phoenix, Willis Griffith, Shamar Bishop, Rodney Corbin, Jamal Whittaker, Adrian Bryan, Javon Cummins, Derio Boyce, Nicholas Ifill and Kiara Riley, along with assistant to Butcher, Glenroy Alleyne. (NS)