Bahamas Well-Represented At Taste of The Caribbean

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The Bahamas has assembled a mix of veteran and young chefs to represent the country at a regional culinary event – The Taste of the Caribbean in Miami.

Chefs, pastry chefs and bartenders from throughout the Caribbean will meet in Miami from June 26 to 30 for the annual competition. Devin Johnson, manager of the Bahamas’ team said the team got an earlier start than last year in preparing for the competition this year, increasing its chances of reaching the gold medal standard at the 2013 event.

“We had a lot more time to prepare,” he said. “We started like four months out. So everybody got to know each other, got to know exactly what each person’s strength and weaknesses are. We have overcome hurdles and challenges. Now coming down to the finals, we are refining the plates and flavors and the techniques are much, much better.”

Chef Johnson said the team hopes many Bahamians will attend the event in Miami to support the Bahamian chefs. He said efforts are underway to reach Bahamians students in Miami so they would attend the event and rally around the Bahamian delegation.

Students and other supports should witness good results from the Bahamian team, which includes some highly experienced individuals, Chef Johnson said. Chef Emmanuel Johnson is among the veterans in the ranks. He and Chef Tracy Sweeting are two of the most experienced at international competition.

“We’ve been on the Olympic team twice,” Chef Gibson said. “So I think we bring that experience. We have also represented The Bahamas at the Taste of the Caribbean in Jamaica and Puerto Rico, also at the American Culinary Classic in Chicago on two occasions. So I think we bring a good wealth of experience and what I have seen from other countries, they are now using their senior chefs to represent their country. So I think it is no more than fair that we continue with that.”

Chef Gibson said Team Bahamas has a good chance of winning gold at the event. He said the team has a few surprises to reveal at the competition, including a new element in the bartending competition that displays the team’s innovative thinking.

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Caption: Chef Emmanuel Gibson of One and Only Ocean Club is pictured during a Team Bahamas practice session.