The Bonaire Hotel and Tourism Association (BONHATA) is proud of the Bonaire Culinary Team 2018 and their impressive competition results during Taste of the Caribbean 2018 in Miami. Battling other national culinary teams from Caribbean islands, the Bonaire Culinary Team brought home 7 medals, the title for Best Rum Cocktail and a Tony Mack ‘Spirit of the Competition’ award. A profound accomplishment for a dedicated and hard-working team.
First-time competitor in Miami, Junior Chef Josue Chalabi, won a bronze medal in the Junior Chef of the Year Competition with his ‘Zesty Herbed Scallop & Spice Tri-Tip’. Last year’s Junior Chef Dustin Libiee now joined the team as Chef to compete in the Beef Competition for which he brought home a bronze medal. Senior Chef and Team Captain Miguel Saragoza received an honorary mention for his ‘Snapper and Scallops Beet Ceviche’ in the Chef of the Year competition. Senior Chef Sherundly Bernabela won a silver medal in the Seafood Competition with his beautiful dish of red snapper and scallops. He also competed in the second edition of the Chocolate Competition and won a bronze medal!
The 2018 team, led by manager Floris van Loo, delivered on their promise to showcase not only talent but also excellent team work by winning a silver medal for the Team of the Year Competition, in which they served a 3-course meal including an impressive dessert from Pastry Chef María Maestroni. María brought the brilliant techniques and uniqueness of her dishes also to her Pastry Chef of the Year Competition. She won a silver medal for an innovative combination of multiple flavors and food structures which she uniquely served in a cut in half Rom Rincon bottle; a presentation the judges had never seen before in the competition.
Bartender Kelvin Ventura impressed the judges and audience with his fresh and well-balanced flavors accomplished in all his 4 different cocktails using local ingredients like Shimaruku cherries and Rom Rincon, Cadushy Vodka and liquor. While making his cocktails, Kelvin entertained the public and proved everyone to be a true showman. All together, his accomplishments earned him a silver medal and the title for Best Rum Cocktail!
Bonaire’s team spirit and talent
This year’s team showed what team spirit and talent is all about, says Daphne Nossels, BONHATA. “Each team member is working towards a higher goal in which they support their fellow team members and bring each other up to the best they can be. The Bonaire team showcases not only great talent, but also a heart for the island and the culture by using local products in almost every dish or drink and sharing our hospitality with all that attended this year’s Taste of the Caribbean. At Caribbean 305, the kick-off event of the Taste of the Caribbean, Bonaire made an impression that will last. The event also served as the perfect opportunity to show a 1,000+ Caribbean-loving Miami people our island and the easiest way to get to Bonaire with the new American Airlines flight from Miami”
Taste of the Caribbean is a yearly competition for professional chefs and bartenders organized by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA). The Bonaire Hotel and Tourism Association in cooperation with the Bonaire Restaurant Association (BRA) endorse and support the Taste of the Caribbean and organize the Bonaire Culinary Team.
BONHATA is grateful to all those individuals and sponsors that made participation possible; special gratitude goes out to the trainers Han ten Winkel, Dhanesh de Kok, Isidoor van Riemsdijk, Rashindra Donge (junior chef trainer) and Janos Vermaat (chocolate trainer).
For more information regarding the team and/or the competition contact BONHATA via +599 717 5134 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org