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The Bonaire Culinary team was on fire at Caribbean Hotel Tourism Association’s (CHTA) Taste of the Caribbean Awards on June 6, as the team took home nine medals. CHTA’s Taste of the Caribbean Competition took place June 4-6, at the Hyatt Regency in Miami, FL.

“We are all extremely proud of the Bonaire Culinary team for earning the reputation as having  some of the best chefs in the entire Caribbean,” commented Maurice Adriaens, Director of Tourism Corporation Bonaire. “These awards clearly represent the diverse cuisine our island can proudly offer our visitors. Participating in the competition has proved to be a great learning experience for our chefs, and provides them with the opportunity to expand their creativity, learn what’s trending in the food industry and return to Bonaire with an intensified passion for what they do. It’s a win-win situation for everyone and we all benefit; our chefs, our restaurants and most importantly, our visitors.”

The Bonaire Culinary Team was Senior Chef Miguel Saragoza, Chef Sherundly Bernabela, Junior Chef Dustin Libiee, Pastry Chef Maria Mastrangelo, Bartender Kelvin Ventura, Head Coach Floris van Loo and team. The Bonaire awards included:

-Overall Winner: Caribbean Chocolate Competition: Sherundly Bernabela

-Gold: Caribbean Chef of the Year: Miguel Saragoza

-Gold: Caribbean Junior Chef of the Year: Dustin Libiee

-Silver: Caribbean Beef Competition: Miguel Saragoza

-Silver: Caribbean National Team of the Year: Bonaire

-Bronze: Caribbean Bartender of the Year: Kelvin Ventura

-Bronze: Caribbean Seafood Competition: Sherundly Bernabela

-Honorary Mention: Caribbean Pastry Chef of the Year: Maria Mastrangelo

Taste of the Caribbean is a yearly culinary competition for professional chefs and bartenders organized by CHTA. Since 1993, the best chefs and culinary teams unite to learn and demonstrate their professional skills. They provide the general public a scintillating exhibition of the most savory and delectable treats in the Caribbean.