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Published on April 2, 2018

MEMBERS of the Barbados Culinary Team have been extremely busy over the past few weeks training and preparing for Taste of the Caribbean 2018, the region’s premier annual culinary competition, which takes place in Miami in June.

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s event will see Barbados competing against over 10 other Caribbean islands including Trinidad and Tobago, Puerto Rico and Jamaica, to retain the coveted title of Caribbean Team of the Year, which it won last year among other prestigious awards.

Team Manager, Chef Henderson Butcher, says the team is going for gold again this year, “Last year we came home with the bragging rights as the best team in the Caribbean, as well as Bartender of the Year, in addition to gold awards in almost every category we competed in.

“This year we want to match that or do even better. That is why these intense training sessions are so important. We train three days a week in the kitchen and bar but we also have paperwork/planning sessions, which are equally as important.”

CEO of the BHTA, Rudy Grant, while observing one of the training sessions said, “The BHTA is pleased to be able to support the Barbados Culinary Team again this year. I am very confident that team Barbados will perform well again this year and expect great things. I want to encourage Barbadians to come out and support the team as it prepares for Taste, when we host the fund raising Gourmet Series of events over the next few months.”

Grant explained that he was amazed at last year’s competition to see how the team incorporated the use of local produce to present delectable dishes, “There is an even stronger message the team is displaying when they go to these competitions and utilise Barbadian products. It is the strong linkage between tourism and agriculture. Recently there has been a significant amount of reference to our foreign reserves. The reality is that if we are able to decrease the number of imports then we can have less foreign exchange going out of the country.

“I am happy to report that at the BHTA we are collaborating with the farmers through our Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) project, which is being undertaken to strengthen the linkage between tourism and agriculture and to facilitate the consistent supply of good quality products from farmers to the hotels and restaurants.  

“We are extremely pleased that the project is progressing well and we are looking to expand the number of participating hotels. The MIF project signals in a very significant way, that if you are strengthening the linkages, then you can create a win-win for everyone.”


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