TASTE OF THE CARIBBEAN CULINARY COMPETITION

Caribbean culture will be on display at the annual Taste of the Caribbean where chefs and bartenders from the region take center stage to compete for the Caribbean’s top culinary honors.  Presented by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) from June 26-30, the event will host a gathering of culinary enthusiasts and experts at the Hyatt Regency, Miami.

“The Caribbean is united in the promotion of the region’s indigenous flavours and products.  From the world’s best spices to the best coffee, rums, beers and tropical fruits, our national cuisines are an important part of our destination marketing,” said Josef Forstmayr, chairman of CHTA and chairman of Taste of the Caribbean.  “Our distinct cuisines are part of our national identities and Taste of the Caribbean showcases our region in a very powerful way,” Forstmayr added.
There are currently nine Caribbean culinary teams registered for the event including Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, Bonaire, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Each participating team represents a Caribbean country that has held individual competitions to select their national team, comprised of two senior chefs, one junior chef, one bartender, one pastry chef and one manager.  The participating team members represent hotels, restaurants or educational institutions in the Caribbean which are members of CHTA.
The teams are vying for top honors including Caribbean Culinary Team of the Year, Caribbean Chef of the Year, Caribbean Pastry Chef of the Year, Caribbean Bartender of the Year and Caribbean Junior Chef of the Year.

Devon Joseph, Trinidad & Tobago, was named Taste of the Caribbean Chef of the Year in 2012 .

This annual Caribbean food and beverage event is designed for culinary professionals to network, polish professional skills and cheer on colleagues in competition.  Taste of the Caribbean also provides education through seminars, workshops, tastings and demonstrations, created to enhance performance, style and profitability in food and beverage operations.

This year’s program includes an enhanced “Taste of the Islands” festival for consumers on Saturday, June 29 from 6 – 9 pm featuring a pavilion of tourist boards where consumers can experience Caribbean culture through a variety of gourmet appetizers and desserts, sample signature cocktails, listen to authentic Caribbean music and gather information about exhibiting Caribbean countries.  The Taste of the Islands highlights the street foods that are common throughout the region.

“Consumers participating in Taste of the Caribbean will be treated to a world-class experience as they sample the unique cuisines and beverages of our region,” said Richard J. Doumeng, president of CHTA.  “The participating teams have worked hard to hone their skills and are culinary ambassadors for their countries as well as the Caribbean region,” Doumeng added.

Taste of the Caribbean also includes an International Caribbean Culinary Team Competition Lunch and Dinner which features a three-course meal prepared by the competing teams.  Each team in the competition meals are given a “mystery basket” of ingredients (the provisions for the competition consisting of a meat, fish, poultry or game) which they must use to develop a three-course menu.  The chefs have one hour to create and submit the menu and three hours to prepare and serve an appetizer, entrée and dessert for attendees at the luncheon or dinner.

Registration
Registration for Taste of the Caribbean is open and can be accessed via: http://www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com/events-taste/event-taste-about.php.  The full event fee for hoteliers, government entities and food and beverage professionals is US$175 per person (CHTA members) and US$225 for non-members. Students with proper ID are charged US$75 per person.  Prices for the competition events are US$30 for Taste of the Islands and US$50 each for the Competition Lunch and Competition Dinner.  CHTA is also offering two package options for the competition events: US$85 per person for the Competition Lunch and Competition Dinner or US$110 per person for the Competition Lunch, Competition Dinner and Taste of the Islands festival.
Trade Show
Taste of the Caribbean also features a unique trade show for event participants which provides a one-stop forum for gathering practical information, sampling, purchasing, strengthening supplier relationships and meeting new vendors.
Exhibitors will be able to promote their products and services to delegates by purchasing a tabletop display at Taste of the Caribbean. Tabletop display registration with one delegate is $750 plus $175 for each additional delegate.

Hotel and Airline Discounts
Registrants can take advantage of discounted hotel rates available at the Hyatt Regency, Miami starting at US$139 per night, plus tax and service charges, based on single or double occupancy.  The group rate is available until June 3 and can be made via resweb.passkey.com
CHTA has partnered with American Airlines to provide event attendees with a 10% discount for travel to Miami between June 12 – July 3, 2013.  Reservations can be made via aa.com or 1-800-433-1790 using promotional code 7263BX.
Sponsors

This year’s host sponsors include CHTA and MasterCard Worldwide, Chef of the Year sponsor: PRG Solutions; Pastry Chef of the Year sponsor: AUI – Albert Uster Imports; Team of the Year sponsors: Alouette, Anco and International Dairy Farms; Sponsors Certified Angus Beef, Exposure4, Henkell & Co., Interval International and Media Blast; and supporting sponsors American Airlines and Virgin Holidays.

For details about sponsorship opportunities, contact Gabi Doria at gabi@caribbeanhotelandtourism.com. For more information,contact CHTA at (305) 443-3040, or visit the organization’s website at www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com.

For more information about Taste of the Caribbean visit http://www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com/events-taste/event-taste-about.php or contact CHTA at (305) 443-3040.  Follow Facebook.com/CHTATasteoftheCaribbean and Twitter.com/CHTATasteCarib.

Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association
The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) facilitates the full potential of the Caribbean hotel and tourism industry by serving members’ needs and building partnerships in a socially responsible and sustainable manner.  CHTA is the voice of the Caribbean hospitality industry for the development of the region in the highly competitive and sophisticated environment of international tourism. Today, tourism is widely recognized as a pivotal industry in the economy of the region – and CHTA functions as the common denominator for this industry in a region of diverse nationalities, languages and styles, identifying mutual problems and marshaling the resources of the active and allied members to devise solutions. CHTA represents all facets of the hospitality industry with more than 600 member hotels and over 300 allied members.

For more information, visit http://www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com.  Follow CHTA on Facebook Facebook.com/CaribbeanHotelandTourismAssociation and Twitter Twitter.com/CHTAFeeds.
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