Bonaire Culinary Team brings home 7 medals and a very special award
Battling other national culinary teams from Caribbean islands, the Bonaire Culinary “Dream Team” brought home 7 medals, the title for Best Rum Cocktail, and a Tony Mack “Spirit of the Competition” award. These great results show a profound accomplishment for a dedicated and hard-working team, led by manage Floris van Loo of RumRunners.
Bonaire’s young competitors get Bronze Medals and Honorary Mentions.
On his first competition in Miami at Taste of the Caribbean, Junior Chef Josue Chalabi won a bronze medal in the Junior Chef of the Year Competition for 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 also 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 definitely delivered on their promise to showcase not only their talent but also excellent teamwork 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 before seen 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 to be a true showman. Altogether, his accomplishments earned him a silver medal and the title for Best Rum Cocktail!
About Taste of the Caribbean.
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.
Subscribe to the free Bonaire Insider newsletter:
Susan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer. She also enjoys writing for The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog.