luncheon hosted for sponsors and partners
As the Barbados Culinary Team hosted another luncheon for sponsors and partners today at Hilton Barbados today, Executive Vice President of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, Michelle Smith-Mayers, drew attention to the help required to undertake the training sessions.
Stressing that the association knew times were tough and it was not easy to give, she said nevertheless companies and even small farmers had come forward to support the team by providing materials and produce for them to practice.
“[This competition] has produced some of our leading chefs on the island. We use it more for development than anything, to the point where the majority of our chefs — our executive chefs, our head chefs, our sous chefs, whatever — in Barbados are locals as opposed to ex-pat chefs as they were many years ago.
“We still have a few ex-pat chefs but we are proud to say the ratio has turned significantly where even here at Hilton you have the executive chef being a Barbadian female and the majority of the executive chefs … at hotels and restaurants around the island have come through the Barbados Culinary Team and that is because competition is a training ground like no other,” said Smith-Mayers, adding that there was nowhere else in the island where they could get this kind of training.
Among the things they have been able to do over the years is recreate some of the local delicacies like cou cou and pudding and souse.
“What we try to do is represent our cuisine on the plate and it also gives you an appreciation of our cuisine as well…
“Today is our thank you to you for sponsoring us. It takes about $80,000 to do this and we could not possibly do it without you,” she told sponsors.
The team, comprising captain Andr√ Nurse of Hilton, Nathan Crichlow of Sandy Lane, Kenneth Whittington of Sandpiper Inn, Jovaughan Cummins of Turtle Beach, pastry chef Julian Broome of Sandy Lane and bartender Rohan Hackshaw of Sandy Lane, along with managers Graham Licorish, executive chef of Coral Reef Club, and Jamaal Bowen of Sandy Lane, today prepared a three-course meal for guests.
Ingredients used included beef, mango, flaked dolphin, spiced chicken, white and dark chocolate, among others, which were samples of what the team is preparing for competition on June 26 in Miami. Barbados will battle 12 other Caribbean teams to see who will emerge tops, with prizes and bragging rights of being the best Taste of the Caribbean.
Patrons at the lunch were provided with feedback cards as well to help the team assess their presentations and the enjoyment of the meals by their guests, while giving tips on how to better the individual dishes ahead of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s annual competition. (LB)