Team Antigua and Barbuda snags 1st runner-up spot at Nevis 10th Annual Mango Festival

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Team Antigua Barbuda announced first runner-up at Nevis Mango Festival.
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In a display of culinary excellence, Team Antigua and Barbuda emerged as the first runner-up at the 10th Annual Nevis Mango Festival, organised by the Nevis Tourism Authority. The event, held on July 7th, showcased the vibrant and diverse use of mango in various culinary creations, bringing together top chefs from St Kitts, Nevis and the United States of America to compete, a release from the Antigua Barbuda Hotels & Tourism Authority (ABHTA) said.

Representing Antigua and Barbuda were culinary stars Chef Ronald Wilson as Head Chef of the team and Chef de Cuisine/Head Chef at Blue Waters Resort & Spa, and Chef Jean Pierre-Tuitt as Sous Chef of the team and Junior Sous Chef at Jumby Bay Island. Their exceptional skills and creativity were put to the test in two demanding rounds.

In the first round, all four teams were tasked with creating a plant-based appetizer featuring mango, plantain, avocado, and beet within just 30 minutes. Team Antigua and Barbuda impressed the judges with their Vegan Tartare, featuring three distinct layers of avocado and cucumber mayo, pickled beetroot, roasted plantain, and mango, all topped with a mango and mint gel. The dish represented a beautiful and harmonious blend of flavors.

The final round presented a Mystery Basket challenge. The chefs were given a basket containing chicken breast, coffee, plantain, orange, spinach, fresh coconut, and raisin, and had to create a dish from all ingredients on the spot. Demonstrating remarkable culinary prowess and teamwork, Chef Wilson and Chef Tuitt crafted a chicken ballotine with sweet potato and coconut ragout, accompanied by a coconut mango coffee beurre blanc. The chicken breast was stuffed with plantain, spinach, raisin, and green mango. Team Antigua Barbuda wowed the judges with their versality, teamwork and bold flavors and detailed execution presented in their dish.

The esteemed judges’ panel comprised three (3) hospitality professionals from Nevis and celebrity Chef Shorne Benjamin from the United States. After thorough deliberation, Team Antigua and Barbuda earned an impressive 499 points, securing the 1st runner-up position, just six points shy of Team Nevis, who won with 505 points.

Reflecting on the competition, Chef Ronald Wilson remarked, “I want to thank the almighty for giving me the strength to take part in this competition.  A huge thank you to the team at the ABHTA for selecting me to represent Antigua and Barbuda’s culinary team. My experience was great competing at the Nevis mango festival for the first time. JP and I worked very cohesively, starting with our training sessions in Antigua right down to the competition. We were both open to face anything in the mystery basket, and we are extremely proud of our performance. I’ll work with JP any day, we both have great ideas to compete in any competition, locally, regionally and even internationally. My focus is now going to be on Taste of the Caribbean in Miami later this year. I’m going to take out all the positive from this competition to build myself for the bigger stage, I’m a fighter and I’m going to make sure I make my nation proud!”

Junior Sous Chef Jean Pierre Tuitt added,“The Nevis Mango Festival was an incredibly enjoyable event, blending elements of “Mission Impossible” with a touch of culinary flair. I extend my gratitude to the Nevis Tourism Authority for hosting us, and to our own Association for providing essential support and resources. Special thanks go to our Team Managers, Jessie Thomas and Chef Richardson-Burnette. I also want to acknowledge our competitors and my teammate, Chef Wilson, who skillfully guided our efforts.”

Team Antigua and Barbuda’s outstanding performance highlights the exceptional culinary talent the island nation has to offer, promising a bright future for its gastronomy.

Chef Ronald Wilson will also join Team Antigua and Barbuda to compete at Taste of the Caribbean in Miami from November 18th-20th, hosted by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association. Taste of the Caribbean is the region’s premier culinary competition and cultural showcase.

The ABHTA wishes to acknowledge the support offered to the team by the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and the Nevis Tourism Authority.

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