Belize was well
represented last week by resident chefs who brought home two silver and
two bronze medals from the Caribbean Hotel Association's (CHA) "Taste of
the Caribbean 2003" culinary competition in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. San Pedro
Chef Amy Knox of Victoria House Resort was one of three Belize delegates
who earned a Caribbean Food and Beverage Award of Excellence. Chef Amy
was presented a silver medal at the awards, which honor food and beverage
professionals from around the Caribbean.
Also earning accolades were Chef Rob Pronk of the
Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina, and Jason O'Campo from Harbour
View Grill in Belize City. Pronk earned a silver medal in the beef
category and a bronze medal in the pork category. He also nabbed a bronze
medal for an exquisite ice carving he created and earned the
distinguished Individual Effort Award. Jason O'Campo won a silver medal
in the pork division.
Chef Amy Knox exclaimed, "It was a wonderful
experience to witness so many people from different regions ėcreating'
together. I really enjoyed myself and am proud to have represented
Chef Amy also provided The San Pedro
Sun with information on the competition as follows:
The competition was a culmination of 12 competing
national teams and individual competitors who had won titles and awards
for their ėTastes' in their respective countries. Being named Chef of the
Year at the Taste of Belize, I had the opportunity to travel to Jamaica
to watch the teams in competition, attend seminars and witness all the
action and fun.
The BTB and American Airlines provided my
transportation to attend this event. Prior to leaving for the
competition, other winners of the Taste of Belize tried to create a
national team to represent Belize, but to no avail. To compete, three
nationals, one manager, one pastry chef and one bartender are needed.
With only five months, it was hard to pull a team together so fast.
As competing in the team events was not
possible, I contacted the Caribbean Culinary Federation that was running
the event and they informed me that there would be individual
competitions. I jumped at the chance and informed some of the other Taste
of Belize winners.
With newfound ambition, I worked hard at developing a
recipe that could possibly win me a medal at the Taste of the
The event in Jamaica was different than the one held
in Belize. Here, we were given a pantry of items to work with and a
mystery basket containing the main ingredient of our dish. In the Taste
of the Caribbean, we could choose which main ingredient category we
wanted to compete in, plus we had to supply our own ingredients. Also, we
had to submit (in advance) a written recipe of the item we were
We were graded on a point system that judged taste and
presentation of the dish, our hygiene while preparing the dish, our
timeliness, our skill, the difficulty of the dish, and our use of
Caribbean ingredients and flavors. There were 11 people competing in each
category of individual competition.
The categories were beef, fish, pork, lamb and
chicken. I competed in the individual fish competition with ėChili Seared
Snapper Towers,' which is a rendition of a dish that is currently on the
menu at Victoria House. I ended up winning the silver medal for the
individual fish competition.
Taste of the Caribbean is an annual
affair, which showcases the development and refinement of Contemporary
Caribbean Cuisine. The three-day event was sponsored by the Caribbean
Hotel Association (CHA) and the Caribbean Culinary Federation
Congratulations to Chef Amy Knox and her fellow
Belizean delegates for a job well done!