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Caribbean Flavors Took Over the 305

Culinary enthusiasts, diaspora and hospitality industry professionals were treated to world-class culinary and beverage creations at the annual Taste of the Caribbean and Caribbean305 cultural celebration in Miami this summer.

The two events comprised the region’s premier culinary competition, food and beverage educational exchange, and a growing Caribbean cultural showcase in the Diaspora.

Hosted by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), and held in conjunction with the organization’s annual Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF), the food and beverage, and cultural events gave participants chances to forge and strengthen relationships with suppliers, food and beverage professionals and consumers as well as to learn from professional development sessions on current trends.

Food professionals at Taste of the Caribbean participated in a friendly but intense battle for gastronomy supremacy and after five days of showcasing their talents and creativity, the 2019 award recipients included:

Caribbean National Culinary Team of the Year: Barbados

Caribbean Chef of the Year: Jason Thomas Ayo (Cayman Islands)

Caribbean Junior Chef of the Year: Hazen Rolle (Bahamas)

Caribbean Pastry Chef of the Year: Rajasekar Ravindran (Turks and Caicos)

Caribbean Bartender of the Year: Jurnick Merced (Curaçao)

Additional information on this year’s winners can be found here.

Since 1993, the Caribbean’s best chefs and bartenders have gathered at Taste to compete, display their skills, learn from each other.

Caribbean305 featured award-winning chefs and mixologists and highlighted flavors from sixteen Caribbean destinations. This year’s Showcase included a pork roast competition, where individuals created their destination’s best traditional street-style pork dish in a contemporary manner.

Local consumers were welcomed by moko jumbie stilt walkers and carnival revelers in full-feathered regalia, and also enjoyed live Caribbean music throughout the evening. Caribbean305 gave guests opportunities to learn more about travel in the region with assembled Caribbean tourism representatives.

“It is not a surprise to see the continued excitement for Taste of the Caribbean and Caribbean305 because it is a unique and wonderful way to savor and celebrate the region’s culture while experiencing extraordinary fare from some of the finest culinary talent anywhere,” said Frank Comito, Director General and CEO of CHTA.

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