By: CARLOS A. CORIANO

 Mejor-Equipo-Culinario-2014

 

The Puerto Rico Culinary Team 2014 captivated its audience right from the start of the Taste of the Caribbean 2014 culinary competitions hosted by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) from June 28th to July 2nd at the Hyatt Regency Miami. Renowned as the most important culinary event of the Caribbean, Taste of the Caribbean participating islands include the Bahamas, Barbados, Bonaire, St. Lucia, Suriname, Anguilla, Curacao, Jamaica, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Comprised of Chef Raúl Correa (Team Captain) of the San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel; Chef Luis Castillo of El Convento Hotel; Chef Christopher Vega of IHG Inc.; Pastry Chef Mizraim Meléndez of the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, and Bartender José Franceschi from Viva Bar at Ramada Ponce Hotel, the Puerto Rico Culinary Team presented for the first competitive event a sample of gourmet Puerto Rican appetizers, desserts and signature cocktails which 600+ gourmet aficionados favored by popular vote crowning the team with the Taste of the Islands People’s Choice Award.

After three intensive days of competitions, our chefs won a total of nine awards:

  • Best Caribbean Culinary Team: Gold Medal – Puerto Rico National Team
  • Chef of the Year: Silver Medal – Raúl Correa
  • Best Seafood Dish: Silver Medal – Luis Castillo
  • Best Beef Dish: Silver Medal – Luis Castillo
  • Best Junior Chef of the Year: Silver Medal – Christopher Vega
  • Best Caribbean Pastry Chef: Gold Medal – Mizraim Meléndez
  • Best Cheesecake: Gold Medal – Mizraim Meléndez
  • Best Caribbean Bartender: Bronze Medal – José Franceschi
  • Taste of the Islands People’s Choice Award: Puerto Rico National Team