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Bonaire Talent stands out at Taste of the Caribbean 2017

The Bonaire Hotel and Tourism Association (BONHATA) is proud of the Bonaire Culinary Team 2017 and their impressive accomplishments during the Taste of the Caribbean 2017.

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The team brought back 2 gold medals of which one for Junior Chef of the Year, this medal was won by Dustin Libiee and earned with his ‘Dry rubbed Tera Cora beef medallion & green herb and citrus snapper’. The other gold medal was earned by Miguel “Poppy” Saragoza in the Chef of the Year competition with a dish which included a superb Bonaire style ceviche. Miguel also won a silver medal for the individual beef competition in which he prepared this meat 4 different ways and combined with modern Bonairean twists in using vegetables and seasoning.

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Bartender Kelvin Ventura impressed the judges and audience with his fresh and well balanced flavors accomplished in all his 4 different cocktails using local ingredients; this earned him a bronze medal. Chef Sherundly “Shur” Bernabela competed in the Seafood competition and won a bronze medal with his dish preparing a colorful plate with red snapper and shrimp. The overall title for the new element of chocolate was also won by Shur Bernabela with his very creative “Tropical Bonaire Paradise” showcasing our salt mountains, our sea and land elements that our destination is famous for. The full team, led by manager Floris van Loo delivered on their promise to showcase not only talent but also excellent team work by winning a silver medal for the team of the year competition, a 3 course lunch which included the mouthwatering dessert prepared by pastry chef Maria Mastrangelo using locally picked Shimaruku berries.

This year’s team showcased team spirit and talent in an exemplary way says Irene Dingjan, CEO of BONHATA. “Each team member is striving for the best, they all work according high standards in not just being an excellent chef or bartender but also by using local products, showcasing the Bonaire culture in almost every dish or drink and sharing our hospitality with all that attended this edition of Taste of the Caribbean. These team members represent Bonaire’s excellent gastronomy and made a long lasting impression to the 1,000 people that attended the Caribbean305 party which started the overall event.”

Taste of the Caribbean is a yearly competition organized by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and on island endorsed, supported and organized by the Bonaire Hotel and Tourism (BONHATA), active member of CHTA in cooperation with the Bonaire Restaurant Association (BRA).

BONHATA is grateful to all those individuals and sponsors that made participation possible; special gratitude goes out to the trainers Isidoor van Riemsdijk (overall), Rashindra Donge (junior chef training) and Janos Vermaat (chocolate training).

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