"Thousands of years ago, merchants traveled the Seven Seas, looking for foodstuffs to trade. Spices, wine, fruits and olive oil were the currencies of yore. Today, we unwittingly do much the same. However, modern travelers tend to prefer restaurants and wineries in place of pirate-infested trade routes." - International Culinary Tourism Association

The Food and Beverage experience satisfies new traveler demands for hands-on, interactive experiences; it gives visitors the chance to get to know local food and people. Further, Caribbean cuisine - based on indigenous ingredients and cooking principles traditional to our region's cultures - contributes to the local economy, through its linkages with agriculture and other economic sectors.

Regional Culinary Competition
Taste of the Caribbean™ is the annual celebration and showcase of Contemporary Caribbean Cuisine and culture. The Taste of the Caribbean program features workshops, tastings, demonstrations, and social events. National teams of chefs and bartenders from across the region take part in the competition, which culminates with the Caribbean Food & Beverage "Awards of Excellence," the region's highest honors in the food and beverage field. The event reaches the very grassroots of our region and provides vital stimulation for professional development.

Publications
Culinary Occupational Standards Manual
This manual provides simple and flexible guidelines on what constitutes core competencies for kitchen operations. It details key performance standards and tasks applicable to various culinary positions, regardless of the size, style, or location of the operation. The guidelines have been developed taking into consideration the realities of small hotel and restaurant facilities, in which employees have to play multiple roles and tasks.

How to Conduct a Culinary Competition Manual
The manual provides simple and flexible, step-by-step recommendations on how to handle the basic aspects in the coordination of a food & beverage competition. The manual is based upon the 'Taste of the Caribbean' regional culinary competition, coordinated by CHTA Services. The guidelines have been developed taking very much into account their capacity to be adapted to different competition sizes, establishments, and organizations. Some core aspects explained include competition formats and categories, registration and rules, judging criteria, complementary activities, budget considerations, and others.

Apprenticeship Operations Manual
The Apprenticeship Operations Manual seeks to identify and develop Contemporary Caribbean Cuisine, with the twin purposes of enhancing the marketing capability of the region, based upon its rich heritage and culture, and improving training opportunities for professional development available to Caribbean nationals in the food and beverage industry to set new standards in the global culinary community.

Food Presentation Guidelines
This paper highlights the importance and principles of food presentation. Aesthetics and elegance are important to the eye, as it is through the sense of sight that other senses can be stimulated. An attractive and appealing appearance stimulates the desire to taste the food. Aware of the interest on food presentation, CHA is pleased to present these guidelines to help enhance the garnishing and presentation of our regional cuisine.

For more information, write to us at membership@caribbeanhotelassociation.com.

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