After a two year hiatus, this young team after weeks of grueling practice sessions and meetings pulled off their greatest feat. Taste of the Caribbean is the region’s premier culinary competition and cultural showcase. The best chefs and culinary teams unite to represent their islands, demonstrate their skills and provide the general public with an exciting exhibition of the savoury and delectable treats of the Caribbean.
Taste of the Caribbean provides a forum for gathering practical information, developing skills, sampling, purchasing, strengthening established supplier relationships and meeting new vendors, all on hand to help Taste of the Caribbean registrants build food and beverage business – and yield benefits on the bottom line. This year’s Taste of the Caribbean will bring innovative and exciting educational sessions for food and beverage professionals that promise to enhance individual skills.
The Trinidad and Tobago team came and showed up with local dishes and elements that wowed over the judges and the public with dishes such as beef flank with Angostura stew sauce, Tobago chicken bisque, curry stewed pork loin and even pimento mousse! They were not out done even in the bartender category with Clinton Ramdham creating drinks infused with corn juice, anise seed, bay leaf and of course using Angostura rums and bitters.
They represented our beloved cuisine even further in the “Taste of the Islands” segment which demonstrated some of our street foods such as aloo (potato) pies, geera pork and mini rotis with sweets such as coconut curry fudge (yes we said curry and coconut) and tamarind balls.
The team came out victorious with 6 gold medals and 2 silver medals in categories such as Chef of the Year (beef), Pastry Chef of the Year, Junior Chef Competition, Seafood and Cheesecake competitions.
This win just solidifies that Trinidad and Tobago’s cuisine is one of the best and that culinary tourism is one of our greatest attributes. What makes us different from any other island is our cultural fusion which lends to the flavours of our dishes. Our local cuisine can be transformed very easily into international dishes that inspire and delight. Our food is rich, diverse, distinct and indigenous. It brings people together through its preparation and consumption, from gatherings at river “limes”, beach goings, to the Queen’s Park Savannah for Panorama and Carnival to family thanksgivings, harvests and Christmas lunches and Dinners – it has become one of the greatest leisure activities of our islands. Anyone coming to our islands should ensure that they sample our unique blend of African, Indian, Chinese, European and Latin American influences. Restaurants throughout both islands show off these influences in most of their dishes sometimes keeping them “local ” or adding international flair, the streets of Port of Spain and other major cities are laden with food vendors, bars and open markets, we are ready and equipped to serve the masses our great cuisine with a smile!
All photos courtesy: Trinidad Hotels Restaurants and Tourism Association (THRTA)