Team Jamaica left the island today to participate in the 2015 Taste of the Caribbean culinary competition in Miami, Florida on June 12-14, 2015. Two weeks ago Team Jamaica was in jeopardy of not participating in the competition due to the lack of funding. After a fundraising effort was started by the Culinary Federation of Jamaica, the team received full sponsorship from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF). The Jamaican team has always done well at the competition. Last year Jamaica’s Sanju Smith won Caribbean Junior Chef Of The Year
Taste of the Caribbean is the region’s premier culinary competition and cultural showcase. Once a year the best chefs and culinary teams unite to learn, demonstrate their skills and provide the general public a scintillating exhibition of the most savory and delectable treats of the islands. A showcase of the hottest and most popular trends in Caribbean gastronomy.
An Overview of the Competition:
Caribbean National Culinary Team Competition – In a mystery basket competition, teams are assigned items from the basket from which a three course menu is developed within one hour. After the menu is developed, teams have three hours to prepare a three course meal (appetizer, entrée and dessert), which is then served to attendees. The top scoring team on the culinary team competition receives the award of Caribbean Culinary Team of the Year.
Caribbean Culinary Individual Competition – In addition to the team competitions, various categories of individual competitions are available to participating team members. 1 senior chef and 1 junior chef from each participating team compete in an individual competition to select the Caribbean Chef of the Year and the Caribbean Junior Chef of the Year. During these competitions, each individual must create in a two hour period a dish showcasing the main ingredient from a mystery basket. A winner is selected for each one of the individual competitions.
Cheesecake Competition, sponsored by Anco, Aloutte, International Dairy Farms
Beef and Seafood Competition
Caribbean Chef of the Year – To win Caribbean Chef of the Year each chef will be given one hour of preparation time in which to write and submit a description of their entrée dish, to do mis en place and get organized (only stocks can be cooked during the 1st hour). Cooking, finishing and plating are to take place during the second hour. The dish must be completely plated by the end of the second hour.
Caribbean Junior Chef of the Year – To win Caribbean Junior Chef of the Year each contestant must be working and/or studying in the culinary field in the Caribbean and cannot be older than 21 years of age. Each chef will be given one hour of preparation time in which to write and submit a description of their entrée dish, to do mis en place and get organized (only stocks can be cooked during the 1st hour). Cooking, finishing and plating are to take place during the second hour. The dish must be completely plated by the end of the second hour.
Caribbean Bartender of the Year – Bartenders from the competing national teams prepare a variety of drinks to demonstrate their creativity, skills, personality and showmanship. Three rounds are scheduled for beverages in the categories of Non-Alcoholic, Vodka and Rum. Each bartender has five minutes to prepare three portions of the beverage. All participating bartenders compete for the honor of Caribbean Bartender of the Year. In this final round bartenders have thirty minutes to review the content of a mystery bar, and then design and prepare a cocktail of their choice.
Caribbean Pastry Chef of the Year– Pastry chefs from the competing national teams create, in advance, a dessert recipe which they prepare during four hours at the event. The top pastry chef is selected the Caribbean Pastry Chef of the Year.