During the 5 day exciting Taste of the Caribbean event the Bonaire Culinary Team 2014 showed her talent and team spirit by bringing home 6 medals, 1 award, 2 honorary mentions and the overall winner for Caribbean Chef of the Year 2014. The Taste of the Caribbean Culinary Competition for professional chefs and bartenders is organized by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association of which the Bonaire Hotel and Tourism Association (BONHATA) is an active member.
Teams get the chance to showcase their talents during many competition elements, both as a team and on an individual basis before judges competing for gold. Bonaire brought home gold with Rashindra Donge becoming the first female Caribbean Chef of the Year. This senior chef individual element is one of the last competition segments during the tension packed event and Rashindra was well prepared, with the assistance of team manager Floris van Loo from Rum Runners Restaurant.
Rashindra Donge prepared a Caribbean herbed surf & turf dish using bold flavors including a chocolate sauce and a spiced garlic chive mayo. During the Awards Dinner on Wednesday evening Rashindra was announced to be the overall winner and with that entered the Taste of the Caribbean Hall of Fame were Bonaire had previously earned a spot with Bartender of the Year Liz Rijna in 1997.
Silver medals were earned by the entire team in the Team of the Year competition in which Bonaire prepared a 3 course lunch using several local products including Aletta’s goat cheese and Cadushy Liquor, another silver medal was won by Giovannie Veld in the Junior Chef competition.
Bartender Jay Frans impressed the judges with cocktails based on Rom Rincon and Cadushy Vodka and brought home a bronze medal. Also Ronald Gosepa earned a bronze medal with his Seafood competition and for Tjitte Knol for his Beef competition element. Honorary mentions were made for Junior Janga in the Pastry chef competition and Tjitte Knol in the Cheesecake element.
To top if off Bonaire was awarded the “Tony Mack Spirit of the Competition” Award for their team spirit and camaraderie. This award captures the impressive and motivating attitude the entire team showed and is an example for all.
Pabien to this year’s dream team who’s participation was made possible by the following sponsors: Bonaire Hotel and Tourism Association (BONHATA); Bonaire Food Group; Cadushy Distillery; Caribbean Bakery Supplies; Rum Runners; Streefkerk architects + consultants; Tourism Corporation Bonaire; Alcon and Blue Water Developments. A special thank you to Han ten Winkel for coaching the bartender and to Sara Matera who, with her passion for education and culinary arts motivated the Bonaire Culinary Team to participate again in this competition. BONHATA is looking forward to assist the team with next year’s participation.
If you would like to learn more about BONHATA, CHTA or this Culinary Event you can contact BONHATA via 717-5134 or firstname.lastname@example.org.