THROWBACK: National Culinary Team Wins The 2015 Taste Of The Caribbean Competition


The Bahamas National Culinary Team won three of the five top categories at the Taste of the Caribbean culinary competition, earning honors for the first time in the 16-year history of the competition as Caribbean National Team of Year.


Individual honors went to Marv Cunningham (Caribbean Bartender of the Year) and four-time winner Sheldon Tracey Sweeting (Caribbean Pastry Chef of the Year).

Presented by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, Taste of the Caribbean featured cooking and bartending competitions between 10 Caribbean island culinary teams.

The eight-member squad won three gold medals, two silvers and one bronze medal. Gold medals were won by Bartender Marv Cunningham (best rum drink), Chef Sheldon Tracey Sweeting (pastry chef of the year), and Crystal Morley (junior chef of the year). Silver medals went to Richmond Fowler II (chef of the year) and Sweeting (cheesecake competition). Charon McKenzie took a bronze medal in the beef/seafood competition. The competition was held June 12-14 at the Hyatt Regency in Miami, Florida.

In the win, Team Bahamas saw two members inducted into Hall of Fame (HOF) —  Sweeting and Cunningham. Sweeting pulled off the three-peat, winning Pastry Chef of the Year for the third consecutive year. (He also took the title in 2006). Inducted into the HOF with Sweeting was Cunningham by virtue of his best rum drink win. The only other Bahamian to secure a HOF berth in the 16 years of the competition was Sally Gaskins in 2004.

Published in The Nassau Guardian
June 2015

Caption: The victorious Bahamas National Culinary Team. Pictured from left are Emil Lee, president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA); Frank Comito, CEO and director general CHTA; Ron John, team manager; Charon McKenzie, Sheldon Sweeting; co-manager; junior chef Crystal Morley; Jamal Small; junior chef Leonardis Moss; bartender Marv Cunningham and head judge Peter Olascher.