Members of the territory’s culinary team are being celebrated after their impressive performance at the prestigious Taste of the Caribbean competition held in Miami, United States.
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) National Culinary Team won the following:
Chef of the Year (overall winner) – Kenneth Molyneaux of Tropical Fusion Restaurant. He was inducted in the Hall of Fame associated with the contest.
Beef Competition (overall winner) – Chef Kenneth Molyneaux of Tropical Fusion Restaurant
Pastry Chef of the Year (Bronze) – Neville Tucker of Long Bay Beach Club
Bartender of the Year (Silver) – Everson Rawlins of Scrub Island Resort & Spa
Junior Chef of the Year (Silver) – Ariq Flax-Clarke
Seafood Competition (Bronze) – Caswall Ponte of Necker Island Resort
Chocolate Competition (Bronze) – Ansony Salmon of Honey and Spice Bakery
Team of the Year – Bronze
In response, Premier and minister responsible for tourism Dr D Orlando Smith said: “I am very proud of the exceptional performance by the BVI National Culinary Team during the Taste of the Caribbean.”
Taste of the Caribbean is the region’s premier culinary competition. Since 1993, the best chefs and culinary teams unite to learn, demonstrate their skills and provide the public a scintillating exhibition of the most savory and delectable treats of the islands.
Premier Smith noted the importance of building the BVI brand, adding that attracting tourists to the territory’s shores cannot be overstated.
“The team represented the territory well. Their hard work and preparation in the many territory-wide pre-competition practice dinners paid off. It is important that we recognise the significance of this accomplishment. But not only that – we must be proud of it!”
“I congratulate them for making a mark for themselves, their establishments, and for the BVI. I want to say a simple thank you to each of them, and to congratulate them and the rest of the BVI for this accomplishment which has once again placed the BVI in the spotlight of tourism,” added Premier Smith.
He also used the opportunity to encourage persons residing in the BVI to embrace the spirit of ‘One BVI’.
“Tourism is felt in every corner of our economy and it impacts each of our lives immensely. For this fact alone, we all must work together to continue to build upon the successes thus far, so that we can maintain and report on consistent and sustained growth in the tourism sector.”
During the competition, which was held at Hyatt Regency Hotel in Miami from June 2- 6, the BVI competed in all categories. They include Caribbean National Culinary Team Competition, Chocolate Competition, Bartender Competition (Non-Alcoholic, Rum, Vodka, Breakfast, and Caribbean Bartender of the Year).
The team also participated in individual competitions such as Seafood Chef of the Year, Beef Chef of the Year, Caribbean Junior Chef of the Year, Caribbean Pastry Chef of the Year, and Caribbean Chef of the Year.
The BVI 2017 team members were: Captain Chef Kenneth Molyneaux of Tropical Fusion Restaurant, Senior Chef Caswal Ponte of Necker Island Resort, Chef Tonya Malone-Smith of BVI Technical Vocational Institute, Junior Chef Ariq Flax-Clarke of Johnson & Wales University, Junior Chef Lakesha Barry of Johnson & Wales University, Junior Chef Lakeisha King of H Lavity Stoutt Community College, and Junior Chef Radiance Modeste of BVI Technical Vocational Institute.
The team’s pastry chefs were Neville Tucker of Long Bay Beach Club, and Ansony Salmon of Honey & Spice Bakery and Pastry Shop.
The team’s bartender was Everson Rawlins of Scrub Island Resort & Spa.
Furthermore, Premier Smith noted that the accomplishments in numerous categories highlight the vast variety of culinary experiences in the BVI.
Those experiences are on full display during the BVI Food Fete that is held annually in November, added Premier Smith.
“I extend an invitation to the launch of BVI Food Fete this Friday at the historic Callwood’s Distillery in Cane Garden Bay, where details on this year’s event will be revealed. I note that the BVI also has a very young team, which augers well for the future of BVI culinary tourism. I am pleased that our government educational institutions – the Virgin Islands Technical High School and the H Lavity Stoutt Community College’s culinary programme were represented, as well as students studying in the field abroad,” Premier Smith further said in a press release from the Government Information Service.
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