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Taste team readies to pursue ‘gold standard’

Bahamian chefs preparing dishes to go head-to-head with the Caribbean’s best teams
Chefs Kevyn Pratt, Tamar Rahming, Jeaneka Russell, Derrick Blackmon, Carvison Pratt, Hazen Rolle, Celeste Smith, Jamal Small, Deneisha Knowles and Owen Bain comprise the Bahamian team that will represent The Bahamas at the Taste of the Caribbean 2018, June 22-26 at the Hyatt Regency, Miami. MINISTRY OF TOURISM

The Bahamas National Culinary Team is looking to keep up their gold standard when it comes to the Taste of the Caribbean 2018.

The competition will be held June 22-26 at the Hyatt Regency, Miami. It is a chance for Caribbean chefs to show their culinary prowess.

The premier competition is in its 27th year and Team Bahamas is already preparing dishes to go head-to-head with the Caribbean’s best teams.

Chefs Kevyn Pratt, Tamar Rahming, Jeaneka Russell, Derrick Blackmon, Carvison Pratt, Hazen Rolle, Celeste Smith, Jamal Small, Deneisha Knowles and Owen Bain comprise the Bahamian team.

Chef Mario Adderley is the team manager.

Adderley says the team that is relatively new learnt from last year’s competition and is already fired up with a new winning strategy.

“This year we are looking to zone in on what we need to do, have a little more structured practices and work on specific areas so that we are more prepared for Taste this year,” he said.

“The atmosphere is good, their spirit is great. They are driven as a team, the practice sessions are always fired up and these guys leave here and go to their respective jobs and they are working on different things throughout the week and so when they get to practice they are excited to show us what they have been working on. So they are psyched to get to Taste and bringing home team of the year.”

Bain, the team’s captain said that the intensity level of practices has risen.

“We are pushing everyday to try to get better, to produce the best dishes that we can from The Bahamas,” he said.

“I think the most challenging part is becoming comrades together. I think this year we are gelling much better and overall for a team concept we will produce our gold, which is our theme for the year.”

Bain said the team is experimenting with a lot of Bahamian ingredients such as benny seeds, sour sop, cassava and yams.

“We are focusing on our standards. We are going for our gold standard. We are looking for precision in terms of flavors and execution and so our standard is definitely gold,” he said.      

Last year, Team Bahamas scored two gold and several silver medals at Taste of the Caribbean.

The team also won Junior Chef of the Year.

Charlotte Knowles-Thompson is the team administrator. She said the team is more than ready to take on the Caribbean.

“They have been practicing every Thursday and they are coming up with some amazing dishes and so we are looking forward to the competition,” she said.

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