T&T chefs cop gold in Miami

The 2016 Trinidad and Tobago National Culinary Team.
The 2016 Trinidad and Tobago National Culinary Team.

MIAMI, Florida – Trinidad and Tobago dominated the Taste of the Caribbean Awards here on June 10, sweeping the medals rostrum with six gold medals and two silver medals, as well as the coveted awards for Caribbean National Team of the Year, Chef of the Year and Junior Chef of the Year.

This is the sixth time T&T has won the top honour since the competition’s inception in 1993.

Taste of the Caribbean is the region’s premier culinary competition and cultural showcase, organized by the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association.

This year’s theme Island Pride 2016 played host to 13 teams from across the region, competing in several different kitchen and bar categories.

Each team was composed of two senior chefs, one junior chef, one bartender, one pastry chef and one manager. Team members represented hotels, restaurants and educational institutions and had to have competed on a national level.

Other winners included Barbados who won the coveted Chef of the Year award for the third time in event history, tying with Puerto Rico for the most wins in that category.

Bartender of the Year was Team Bahamas and Junior Chef of the Year went to Turks & Caicos.

This year’s team flew to the competition with their main sponsor Caribbean Airlines which serves North America from the Caribbean. The presenting sponsor of the event was Sandals.

Taste of the Caribbean, the winning team included Captain Adrian Cumberbatch with Brandon Maharaj – Chef Brandon Catering & Gourmet Services; Jeremy Lovell, Chef, Courtyard by Marriott; Clinton Ramdhan -Bartender, Verve Creations Ltd.; Kimberly Jagassar – Pastry Chef, Hyatt Regency Trinidad; Annelca Mendoza – Junior Chef-Iesa Events; Adam de Freitas, Alternate Chef – The Anchorage; Kishion Guillaume, Alternate Bartender – CJ Lounge and Captain Adrian Cumberbatch, Executive Sous Chef, Hyatt Regency Trinidad.

Caribbean National Team of the Year, Trinidad and Tobago (Gold).

Chef of the Year, Brandon Maharaj (Gold).

Chef, Jeremy Lovell (Gold medal and winner Beef Competition).

Pastry Chef, Kimberly Jagassar (Gold medal and Winner Pastry Chef of the Year).

Junior Chef, Anneica Mendoza (Gold Medal, Junior Chef of the Year).

Alternate Chef, Adam de Freitas (Gold Medal, Seafood); (Silver Medal, Individual Cheesecake).

Bartender, Clinton Ramdhan (Silver Medal, Bartender of the Year).

Alternate Bartender, Kishion Guillaum.