Members of the Barbados Culinary Team on the podium after receiving their silver medals for Team Of The Year. (Picture by Natanga Smith.)
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CONGRATULATIONS Team Barbados!
The culinary team will be bringing home two gold medals, five silvers and a bronze medal from the Taste of the Caribbean culinary event that concluded last night in Miami.
Added to that, chef Damian Leach who won one of the gold medals also won the competitive and sought after Chef of the Year title. The first-timer was also inducted into the Hall of Fame last night, watched by his parents, grandmother and wife and his proud teammates as well as a crying team manager Henderson Butcher, representatives from the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association and sponsors.
To strains of Bob Marley’s One Love it was all camaraderie at yesterday evening’s awards dinner.
Held at the Hyatt Regency in Miami Florida and put on by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, along with various entities and sponsors, the creme de la creme of chefs and bartenders pitted their skills against each other to see who would emerge champions.
Teamwork makes the dream work and with 13 islands in the cooking arena, every member had a part to play.
There were senior chefs and junior chefs. There were pastry chefs and seafood chefs. There were bartenders who mixed and spun their own twist on classic cocktails and invented some new ones.
At the awards dinner various sponsors were acknowledged for putting on yet another successful event. Held annually, titles such as Caribbean Team of the Year were on the plate to be defended. So too were Chef of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year, Junior Chef of the Year and Bartender of the Year. Barbados went on the podium to receive bronze in Best Beef (Kirk Ruck); silver in Best Seafood (Wilwore Jordan), Pastry Chef Of The Year (Javon Cummins), Junior Chef Of The Year (first-timer Nicholas Ifill), Best Cheesecake (Ron Maynard) and silver for Team Of The Year.
First timers Ryan Adamson and Leach both received gold and while Adamson lost out on Bartender Of The Year to Marvelous Cunningham of The Bahamas, Leach took the coveted Chef Of The Year. While disappointed on not winning Team Of The Year, the Bajan contingent celebrated late into the night and left for Tampa this morning for a function commemorating Barbados' 50th anniversary of Independence. There they will again showcase their award-winning skills. The team returns to Barbados on Monday night. (NS)