It was silver medals all around for The Cayman Islands Culinary team Wednesday morning when both the chefs and the bartender received their honours along with a special award of most creative vodka drink in the bartender category.
The team was competing in The Taste of the Caribbean, part of the Caribbean Hotel Industry Conference being held in Miami.
Bartender Jerome Ameline from The Brasserie wowed the judges into giving him a special award for his vodka drink, Catch me if you Can, a mix of cosmopolitan and flirtini. The master bartender won this same category last year. He now progresses to the final of the Bartender’s competition, which was to be held yesterday afternoon.
The chefs, Keith Griffin of Bacchus (team manager), Vidyadhara Shetty (Hyatt Hotel and President Cayman Culinary Society), Ronald Jacobson (Tropical Trader Ltd.), Abdul Hameed (Treats) and Chef David Goddard spent Tuesday evening cooking up their wonderful concoctions from a basket of secret ingredients and served them up at a wonderful dinner that evening. Back-up chef Phillip Pratt (the Governor’s chef) was on hand in case one of the team members was put out of action for any reason.
Minister for Tourism Charles Clifford looked in on the chefs as they worked their magic over the stove.
The team served up a delicious starter of angostura-rum-coconut glazed grouper and pan seared giant sea scallop on green mango slaw with baby field greens and citrus vinaigrette.
The tantalising main course consisted of herb roasted jerk pork loin wrapped in caul fat with tamarind-jaggery glazed tri-tip skewer, warm pumpkin-corn salsa, gruyer roasted yuka and flash sautéed zucchini.
The dessert was a scrumptious red bean parfait rested on pumpkin seed brittle with warm chocolate cake topped with caramelized bananas, accompanied by a coconut-ginger quenelle with curry cream, mint chutney and papaya coulis.
Bartender Jerome also created an innovative non-alcoholic drink full of vitamins, aptly named Ivan Recovery along with a concoction of rum, carrot juice and condensed milk called Columbus Special.
There were 13 teams entered in both the culinary and bartender competitions. The other teams were Bonaire, Bahamas, St. Lucia, US Virgin Islands, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Curacao, Aruba, Trinidad & Tobago, Puerto Rico, Sint Maarten/St. Martin.