The Puerto Rico Culinary National Team was crowned once again “Best Culinary Team in the Caribbean” at the Taste of the Caribbean competition held at the Hyatt Regency in Miami.
The team competed against representatives from nine participating island: Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, Bonaire, Curacao, Jamaica, Suriname and U.S. Virgin Islands.
Also, Puerto Rico’s team comprised of five chefs and a barman, were the winners of the People’s Choice at Taste of the Island where they impressed the most critical judges. During this part of the competition, Two-time Team Coach Elvin Rosado and Chefs Raul Correa and Luis Castillo, Pastry Chef Mizraim Melendez and Barman Jose Franceschi delighted the spectators with their Puerto Rican Kiosk.
“We are proud with performance of our Culinary team who once again brought back to Puerto Rico the competition’s most coveted award, where the key to win it is to showcase the tastes of our island along with a presentation of a vanguard dish, the most important dedication and team work,” said Clarisa Jiménez, president of the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association (PRHTA). “This year, our chefs won various gold, silver and bronze medals, which makes us enormously proud but above all it’s a great satisfaction that they continued to elevate our culinary status outside the island.”
During the competition at the Puerto Rican Kiosk, the chefs served traditional fried pork with mofongo (fried plantain based dish), cod fritters with seafood and avocado salad, Mayorca with steak and onions and for dessert a bienmesabe cake with sweet papaya and Puerto Rican cheese. The barman served tasty cream, tamarind and berry ice cones and traditional piña colada.
Team member who won medals are:
Gold Medal/ Pastry Chef of the Year – Mizraim Melendez
Gold Medal/Cheese Cake Competition – Mizraim Melendez
Silver Medal/ Chef of the Year – Raul Correa- Team Captain
Silver Medal/ Junior Chef of the Year – Christopher Vega
Silver Medal/ Meat Competition – Luis Castillo
Silver Medal/ Seafood Competition – Luis Castillo
Bronze Medal/Bartender of the Year – Jose Franceschi
The title sponsors of the Puerto Rico National Culinary Team are: the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Rums of Puerto Rico and American Airlines. Also, the San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel, St. Regis Bahi Beach Resort, Lucre Ruisanchez & Associates Corp Hertz, Casino Metro at Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel and Casino, Double Tree by Hilton San Juan, Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde, La Concha Hotel a Renaissance Resort San Juan, El Convento Hotel and Grand Events cooperated with the event.