Barbados’ culinary team is ready to tantalize the tastebuds of the judges at this year’s Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association’s (CHTA) Taste Of The Caribbean competition that takes place in Miami, United States, from June 11 to 14.
And this afternoon, some of the team’s sponsors and members of the media were given a first-hand treat when they were invited to the first of three planned gourmet lunches at Divi Southwinds Beach Resort. The remaining two lunches will be held on May 8 and 22 at The Grille, Hilton Barbados Resort, and will be open to the public.
The three-course meal, which was also “judged” by diners, was prepared mainly with local ingredients, and from the looks of the clean plates quickly taken away after every serving, it was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
At the end of the sumptuous meal, team manager Henderson Butcher announced he was quite pleased with how preparations had been coming along. He said he expected the eight-member Barbadian team to do extremely well in Miami.
“Basically, we are working right now on getting the ingredients that are so well known to us and using them, and putting them on the plate in such a way that it would impress the judges.
“We’ve noticed that over the past two years there are some things the judges have been throwing into the competition, which has been throwing the chefs off a little bit. So, this year, we have concentrated on all those things that the judges have been throwing at the team and getting them ready for that,” Butcher explained.
Last year, the team placed second overall, returning home with 11 medals; and Butcher is confident this year’s team can equal or even surpass that performance.
“The team’s chances this year are very good. We are pretty happy with what we have been seeing,” he submitted.
“From the first day of training we have been very happy at what the guys have been doing. This is a team which is really not afraid . . . . No matter what it is, this team takes it and puts it on the plate in a different kind of way, with a funky kind of style –– with all the colours and textures.
“I think this team is ready to do well,” Butcher declared.
The team comprises André Nurse, Stephanie Sears, Willis Griffith, Kenneth Whittington, Javon Cummins, Philip Antoine, Jamaal Bowen (bartender/manager) and Henderson Butcher (team manager).