The best chefs and culinary teams showcased their skills and provided a scintillating exhibition of the most savory and delectable treats of the islands at this year's annual Miami foodie event, the Taste of the Caribbean.
It all went down earlier this month at the Hyatt Regency Miami.
WHAT IS TASTE OF THE CARIBBEAN?
Taste of the Caribbean is the region’s premier culinary competition and cultural showcase sponsored by the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association.
Once a year the best chefs and culinary teams in the Caribbean unite to demonstrate their skills and provide the general public a vivacious exhibition of the hottest and most popular trends in Caribbean gastronomy.
I had the opportunity to attend the dinner competition portion of the event, where seven out the 13 participating countries were competing to take home top honors in various culinary categories.
The National Culinary Teams of Anguilla, Curaçao, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, St. Maarten/St. Martin, Trinidad & Tobago, and USVI were the countries competing that night.
I sat in the St. Maarten/St. Martin table with my new friend Adriana- Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association's Communication Director. We sampled a tasty 3 course meal accompanied with a nice glass of Chardonnay.
Beef Tartar: With ginger, pineapple and fried yucca.
Hot and Cold Soup: Mango Gazpacho & Red Bean Bacon Soup coupled in the same verrine with Creole braised meatball.
Tempura Beef Maki Roll: With cucumber, plantain and cream cheese.
Lime and Lemongrass Stew Chicken: With pistachio cilantro- parmesan crust.
Pork Slider: On fresh baked jalapeno cornbread with papaya ketchup
Okra "Popper": With celery puree and carrot ginger emulsion
Grandma's Carrot Cake: With cardamom chocolate mousse, passion fruit Chantilly, caramel-coconut sauce, and mixed nut nougatine.
The next night brought forth the main event, Taste of the Islands - A Caribbean Culinary and Cultural Showcase.
The 13 competing countries showcased their authentic cuisine and local beverages throughout the entire night.
My favorite drink of the night was Suriname's local beverage, Dawet- also known as the "pink drink." It's made with beets, lemongrass syrup and sweet coconut milk.
I was happy to see Rums of Puerto Rico at the event. Not only are they my favorite type of rum but I recently won an award for a campaign I did with them last year.
Read all about it here.
Sticking with the Puerto Rican theme, I went to the next station to sample a few of their dishes. I was most excited to try that Sancocho!
Spoiler alert: it was good!!
The final country I went to was Curaçao.
I made sure to save their table for last.
I tried to take in as much information as I could and sampled all the Chef's creations because...
I'm heading to Curaçao!!
I've partnered up the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association and will visit this gorgeous destination in the Fall!
I'm so excited for this collaboration. This will be my first time in the island! If you've been and have any recommendations on what to eat and do over there, please let me know in the comments below.
Can't wait to add another stamp to my passport and experience the cuisine and culture of Curaçao!
Stay tuned for that upcoming post! :)