Press Release: ANGUILLA, BRITISH WEST INDIES, Tuesday, 30th March, 2010
In what could have only been described as an all day bartending competition marathon and pastry chef selection, Cuisinart Resort and Spa, was the scene of a very exciting culinary event, which lasted some 5 hours on Monday March 29, 2010. This Culinary event entertained, a large crowd of well-wishers, and industry supporters.
“It is with great pride”, said Gilda Gumbs-Samuel of the AHTA, “we can now announce that Anguilla, has two complete culinary teams. A senior and junior team, maybe the first, if not the only Caribbean island to be able to have this honor.”
Seven bartenders competed for the titles of senior and junior bartender, and the competition was incredibly tight. Bartenders entered the competition from Viceroy, Cuisinart, Cap Juluca, Veya, and DaVida’s restaurant. Judges for the competion were, Trudy Nixon, Claire Devener, Jacquie Ruan and Catherine Niles, the outgoing bartender of the year.
To quote Trudy, “The AHTA has now taken the on island bartending competion to a new level, and we have most certainly raised the bar. This competition was at CTHA level, with all of the competition rules being applied.”
In the end, the successful senior bartender, who will compete at Taste Of The Caribbean, is Ms. Tazandra Williams (better known as Precious) who works at Veya restaurant, and has been a bartender for the past 7 years. The junior spot went to Ms. Taffy Hodge, from Viceroy, who has been a bartender for about 17 years. The junior competition was so close, that we had to conduct a mystery basket run off, to select the junior bartender.
Outgoing bartender Catherine Niles, with incoming bartenders Precious and Taffy Hodge
Our new junior pastry chef is Ms. Shirmel Gumbs, from CapJuluca Resort. Pastry Chefs Geraud from Geraud's bakery, Collin Yearwood, and Pascal Barinier from Cuisinart, and Timothy Franklyn from Malliouhana Resort and Spa, did an outstanding job in lending their many years of experiences and talents in the art of pastry making to Ms. Gumbs. This was her first ever competition, and she reluctantly entered the competion after weeks of encouragement and confidence building. Three of the four pastry chefs gave her the highest scores that they could have given, and she was encouraged to just continue practicing, and being inventive and creative. Pastry Chef Geraud, offered his time to assist her whenever she needed it. The four judges were impressed, and felt that her dessert was second to none in presentation, taste, thought, and cleanliness on the plate.
The senior culinary team did us proud, and all attended in their lovely white jackets and black pants, looking immaculate, and supported the bartenders and pastry chef. Well done.
Special thanks to our sponsors Cuisinart Resort and Spa, Mr. Stephane Zaharia, and especially Mr. James Dennis, for assisting with the many details that were required to put on this event. Anguilla Rums for their on going contribution of rums for both on and off island competitions, and of course to all the contestants, and existing culinary chefs for their support. Special Thanks to the wonderful Judges, and the crowd of well-wishers that provided support until a decision was reached.