so! we kinda left things hanging with regards to the developments of the culinary team. partly by circumstance and partly by design. the aim was to drop it on you in an interesting manner that would get as much hype as possible. so here it is. from the THRTA food and beverage competition day 1 and day 2, here are the winners who are now the trinidad & tobago national culinary team, as they were presented at the awards ceremony, hyatt regency, with minister of tourism The Honourable Dr Rupert Griffith M.P. (5th from left). from left to right: Carla Cupid (alternate Bartender) – Kapok Hotel, Isaiah Connell (Junior Chef) – Toppers Restaurant, Devon Joseph (Chef) – Chaud Restaurant, Daniyel Jones (Bartender of the Year) – Martini Makers, Rajesh Goolcharan (Chef of the Year), Kendell Mulzac (Pastry Chef of the Year) – Hyatt Regency Trinidad, Arnold Jupiter (Alternate Chef). the team would be captained by Raymond Joseph of Courtyard by Marriott! this is the crew that will represent t&t at the esteemed ‘TASTE OF THE CARIBBEAN’ competition, june 2012 in miami. it’s a big deal.
in preparation for the big event, the team engages in a series of practice dinners that seek to recreate the competition environment. this is serious business. apart from the stresses of competition cooking, it adds the extra pressure of having to use the mystery basket ingredients provided to create a three course meal for paying customers. this round was at TTHTI, so our friends at THRTA invited us to take in some of the action. action indeed. lots of slicing…
and while we’re talking about sponsors, we must mention BRYDENS for supplying the ingredients for the bartender’s drink as well as MARKETING & DISTRIBUTION for supplying wines to accompany the dinner. check out the drink demo in the video.
the end result was a clever menu: the appetizer was a fish trio. poached curry marinated snapper paired with mint/apple chow. deep fried cod fish tempura ochroes served with mango chutney. and pan seared red snapper atop garlic wilted patchoi accompanied by a spiced beet glaze.
the main course was a grilled pesto rubbed lamb loin in a rum enhanced reduction. sweet potato, dasheen and plantain in a roast corn blue cheese sauce served with a vegetable souse and finished with a basil oil drizzle.
it became part of a citrus zabagloine sitting on pumpkin pudding with a nutmeg tuile. Poached coconut meringue on a channa brittle accompanied by a chunky green pawpaw sauce, served with a shot of pineapple mojito at the side.
it was an exciting experience for us and we’re sure a valuable learning experience for the team who would need all the practice they can get between now and the competition. our overall review: the menu was very creative with some nice twists that utilized the ingredients effectively. flavors weren’t magnificent, but were enjoyable for the most part. however, some of the ground provisions didn’t reach a satisfactory degree of tenderness which was the most noticeable inconsistency to us. we think that we’ve got a strong team with exceptional strength in dessert and beverage. it will be good to see how things progress and what the outcome of the competition will be. check out the video to find out how you can support and be a part of the demonstration dinners.