‘TASTE’: Barbados is Top Caribbean Team, Caymanian Chef-of-Year

MIAMI, Florida - Barbados was named the “Caribbean National Culinary Team of the Year”, while Jason Thomas Ao of the Cayman Islands was crowned “Caribbean Chef of the Year”, at the 2019 Taste of the Caribbean competition held here last month.   

jason AoHazen Rolle of The Bahamas was chosen “Caribbean Junior Chef of the Year”, while Rajasekar Ravindran of Turks and Caicos Islands was named “Caribbean Pastry Chef of the Year”.

Bonaire's Dhanesh De Kok won the beef competition and compatriot Elise Weerstand took the chocolate contest. The Cayman Islands' Dimuth Munasingha won in the seafood category.

The “Caribbean Bartender of the Year” award went to Jurnick Merced of Curaçao. His nation also won “Best Vodka Drink”. Trinidad and Tobago won for “Best Non-Alcoholic Drink”, while St. Lucia captured “Best Rum Drink” and Cayman Islands won “Best Mystery Bar Drink”.

Grenada won the “Josue Merced-Reyes Spirit of the Competition” award, while Floris van Loo of Bonaire earned the “Tony Mack Spirit of the Competition” honors.

The culinary tournament was held in conjunction with the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association's annual industry conference, the Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum and the Caribbean305 culinary and cultural consumer celebration.

Participating teams included The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Grenada, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Suriname, T&T and Turks and Caicos.