The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Capella Marigot Bay Re­sort and Ma­rina takes great plea­sure in an­nounc­ing that Ron Hi­laire, Brut Bar & Pool Bar Bar­tender, has emerged win­ner of the Saint Lu­cia Ho­tel & Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion’s na­tional bar­tend­ing com­pe­ti­tion which took place on Satur­day, April 30th.

Ron was pre­sented with a mys­tery bar full of lo­cal in­gre­di­ents from which to con­coct an in­spir­ing cock­tail. The re­sult, aptly ti­tled ‘Tasty Saint Lu­cia’, blended co­conut rum, wa­ter­melon, mango and fresh lime.

This award-win­ning cock­tail has placed Ron on Saint Lu­cia’s Na­tional Culi­nary Team and he will be com­pet­ing against other Caribbean coun­tries in Mi­ami dur­ing this year’s Caribbean Ho­tel & Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion’s Taste of the Caribbean com­pe­ti­tion from June 6th – 10th. Ron has the task of not only rep­re­sent­ing Saint Lu­cia amongst the culi­nary best of the Caribbean, but also of com­pet­ing to bring back to Capella Marigot Bay Re­sort & Ma­rina the ti­tle of Caribbean Bar­tender of the Year.

Who is Ron Hi­laire? At first glance, Ron, the youngest of five chil­dren, can eas­ily be seen as an in­tro­vert. How­ever, get him mix­ing his favourite drinks, and he is in his el­e­ment. With four years of bar­tend­ing un­der his belt, Ron ad­mits he never re­ally knew he wanted to be a bar­tender. Now that he has “tasted” the ho­tel ex­pe­ri­ence, Ron says he plans to “stick with it for a while”.

Ron ac­knowl­edges his cre­ativ­ity which he uses to de­sign ex­cit­ing cock­tails fea­tur­ing lo­cal in­gre­di­ents in new ways. In the near fu­ture, Ron plans to re­lease ‘How to Build Your Own Cock­tail’, a col­lec­tion of bar­tend­ing know-how. Ron is very keen on par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Taste of the Caribbean com­pe­ti­tion, and plans not only to ‘wow’ the judges, but also to have a lot of fun in the process.

Capella Marigot Bay Re­sort and Ma­rina wishes Ron all the best as he em­barks on this ex­cit­ing journey.

Bar­tenders from the com­pet­ing na­tional teams pre­pare a va­ri­ety of drinks to demon­strate their cre­ativ­ity, skills, per­son­al­ity and show­man­ship. Three rounds are sched­uled for bev­er­ages in the cat­e­gories of Non-Al­co­holic, Vodka and Rum. Each bar­tender has five min­utes to pre­pare three por­tions of the bev­er­age. In the fi­nal round bar­tenders have thirty min­utes to re­view the con­tent of a mys­tery bar and then de­sign and pre­pare a cock­tail of their choice. All par­tic­i­pat­ing bar­tenders com­pete for the honour of Caribbean Bar­tender of the Year.

Taste of the Caribbean is the re­gion’s premier culi­nary com­pe­ti­tion and cul­tural show­case. In­tro­duced in 1993, it pro­vides the best chefs and culi­nary teams with an­nual op­por­tu­ni­ties to unite and learn, demon­strate their skills and give the gen­eral pub­lic a scin­til­lat­ing ex­hi­bi­tion of the most savoury and de­lec­ta­ble treats of the is­lands.

Over 10 teams from the Caribbean throw their culi­nary hats into the ring to com­pete for the honour of be­com­ing the best chef, culi­nary team, bar­tender and pas­try chef in the Caribbean. Each par­tic­i­pat­ing team rep­re­sents a Caribbean is­land and has com­peted on a na­tional level to qual­ify and par­tic­i­pate. Each team com­prises 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 the Caribbean Ho­tel and Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion (CHTA).

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