Culi­nary Team Makes St. Lu­cia Proud

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By

Gwyn­neth Hockey

Afew years ago in­ter­est in Saint Lu­cia’s Culi­nary Arts started to bloom. It took per­sons like Chef Rob­bie, Chef Or­lando and oth­ers to rec­og­nize that there was a lot more we could do with our lo­cal pro­duce than just pro­mote green-fig and salt­fish. It be­came ob­vi­ous, too, that visi­tors travel as much for a culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ence as they do for sun, sea and sand. With the rise of Saint Lu­cian Chef Nina to vir­tual in­ter­na­tional star­dom last year, there was an im­mense boost in in­ter­est in the culi­nary arts here in Saint Lu­cia. Sud­denly it is higher on the agenda of the Saint Lu­cia Ho­tel and Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion (SLHTA), The Saint Lu­cia Tourist Board (SLTB) and the schools’ cur­ricu­lum.

Last week­end the Saint Lu­cia Culi­nary Team did the is­land proud once again at the Taste of Caribbean Com­pe­ti­tion in Mi­ami.

On Tues­day June 16 the St. Lu­cia Culi­nary Team re­ceived a warm home­com­ing from the SLHTA, SLTB and media per­son­nel upon ar­rival at He­wanorra In­ter­na­tional Air­port. A re­cep­tion for the team fol­lowed at Co­conut Bay Re­sort in Vieux Fort.

While in Mi­ami not only did the chefs shine in the var­i­ous com­pe­ti­tions and chal­lenges but they also took part in the an­nual Caribbean Food and Bev­er­age Event, net­work­ing and pol­ish­ing their pro­fes­sional skills be­fore a large au­di­ence of in­dus­try peers and food and bev­er­age vet­er­ans.

The youngest culi­nar­i­ans of the group were Martha Hip­polyte, 27 who works at Co­conut Bay Re­sort and Edna Butcher, 21 em­ployed with Cap Mai­son. Both ob­tained gold medals; Hip­polyte for the Cheese­cake Com­pe­ti­tion and over­all win and Butcher for the Ju­nior Chef of the Year Com­pe­ti­tion and over­all win. Butcher was also in­ducted into the Hall of Fame and re­ceived US$2,500 from the Caribbean Ho­tel & Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion Ed­u­ca­tion Foun­da­tion.

“It was a won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence over­all, but then there’s nerves; I got re­ally, re­ally ner­vous but I pulled through. It was very ex­cit­ing to get the re­sult that I won over­all,” said Martha Hip­polyte.

“It was a very good ex­pe­ri­ence. It was also my first time in do­ing an in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion. I learnt what not to do and what to do although I had the knowl­edge of com­pe­ti­tions al­ready Caribbean wide,” said Edna Butcher.

Saint Lu­cia also achieved five sil­ver medals racked up by Caron Jean from Cap Mai­son for the Surf & Turf Com­pe­ti­tion, Re­fer Leonce also from Cap Mai­son for the Chef of the Year Com­pe­ti­tion, Gilry Sa­muel for the Pas­try Chef Com­pe­ti­tion, Mario Alexan­der from Delir­ius Bar for the Bar­tender Com­pe­ti­tion and Team Saint Lu­cia for the Team Com­pe­ti­tion.

The Min­is­ter of tourism Lorne Theophilus con­grat­u­lated and praised ‘team 758’ and Chef Rob­bie for the work he car­ried out with team mem­bers stat­ing, “For years Chef Rob­bie has done what is nec­es­sary to trans­form the culi­nary land­scape of St. Lu­cia,” adding, “In do­ing well in Taste of the Caribbean these am­bas­sadors have car­ried the name not of them­selves only but the name of Saint Lu­cia. Team 758 has flown that flag ex­tremely high so the name of St Lu­cia has been brought into the wider world and our culi­nary pres­ence is be­ing felt.”

As­sis­tance was pro­vided by the SLHTA’s Tourism En­hance­ment Fund, GL, LUCELEC, SO­LAR Tours & Travel, St Lu­cia Fish Mar­ket­ing Corp, San­dals, Chair­man’s Re­serve, Crown Foods, Su­pe­rior Fish & Seafood, St James’s Club Mor­gan Bay, LIME, Trans Caribbean 2000, Vik­ing, Green Evo­lu­tion, Saint Lu­cia Mar­ket­ing Board, Cap Mai­son and RJB Ho­tel Sup­plies.

Saint Lu­cia Culi­nary Team greeted by SLHTA of­fi­cials and the min­is­ter of

tourism at He­wanorra In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

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