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"Taste of the Caribbean" contest showcases the best of the best in Miami

Attendees of the Taste of the Caribbean contest, which was held at the Hyatt Regency Miami this week, were treated to seminars, demonstrations, competitions and tastings of the delicious food which can be found across the region during Caribbean holidays.

"Taste of the Caribbean" contest showcases the best of the best in Miami

This year’s "Taste the Caribbean" consumer programme and contest was held at the Hyatt Regency Miami this week and attendees from Caribbean hotels and resorts all over the region battled it out for prestigious titles.

The Taste of the Islands Competition started on Friday 24th June at 7pm where ten teams each created culinary delights including two savoury tastings, one delicious dessert, and a rum-based cocktail.

The events started early again on Saturday morning with the Wedding Cake Demonstration that was presented by the famous chef and owner of The International Sugar Art Collection, Nicholas Lodge. Lodge demonstrated the advantages of using the Massa Couture Orange Rolled Fondant Collection and the new Pastry Ideale Gel colours when decorating cakes.

Bar tenders who worked at Caribbean hotels and regularly showed off their cocktail shaking skills for tourists during Caribbean holidays, battled against each other at 9am on Saturday morning in the Bartender Competition where they had to use their creativity and knowledge to come up with a unique vodka-based cocktail.

The Caribbean teams then demonstrated their culinary skills in the International Caribbean Culinary Team Challenge at lunchtime where teams from Anguilla, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, Curacao and Jamaica each had to prepare a three-course lunch with wines.

As the afternoon went on, visitors to the event attended the "Nourishing Your Soul" workshop where Chef Scott Neuman from Portland’s Oba Restaurant shared his techniques for creating perfect classic Latin American and Spanish street food and entrée recipes.

Other events throughout the evening included a rum-based bartender competition; Entertaining with Cheese workshop with Chef Jon Ashton and Diahann Smith; and the International Caribbean Culinary Team Challenge where the Caribbean teams prepared a three-course evening meal.

Taste of the Caribbean is organised by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and is a competition-style event that highlights the Caribbean’s most talented workers within the Caribbean culinary industry, with awarded titles including “Bartender of the Year”, “Chef of the Year”, “Pastry Chef of the Year”, “Junior Chef of the Year”, and “National Team of the Year.”

Culinary teams originated from some of the region’s most popular holiday destinations in the Caribbean, including the British Virgin Islands, Curacao, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, United States Virgin Islands, Anguilla, The Bahamas, and Barbados.

The CHTA was established in 1962 and builds partnerships between businesses within the hotel and tourism industry and private members of the Caribbean holidays sector. The organisation has 850 Caribbean hotel members and works hard to develop the tourism and hospitality industry to ensure that travellers taking holidays to the Caribbean receive the best service and a memorable experience.

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