Press Release

Premier's Office
BVI Tourist Board
Culture, Tourism
Release Date:
Wednesday, 7 June 2017 - 4:09pm

“I am very proud of the exceptional performance by the BVI National Culinary Team during the Taste of the Caribbean.” Those are the words of the Premier of the Virgin Islands, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE in congratulating the BVI Culinary Team on their “BIG WIN”. 

During the Taste of the Caribbean Awards Competition at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Miami from June 2- 6, the BVI competed in all categories including Caribbean National Culinary Team Competition, Chocolate Competition, Bartender Competition - (Non-Alcoholic, Rum, Vodka, Breakfast and Caribbean Bartender of the Year). The team also competed in individual competitions such as Seafood, Beef, Caribbean Jr. Chef of the Year, Caribbean Pastry Chef of the Year and Caribbean Chef of the Year.

The BVI National Culinary Team won the following:

  1. Team of the Year - Bronze
  2. Overall Winner for Chef of the Year and inducted in the Hall of Fame - Chef Kenneth Molyneaux of Tropical Fusion Restaurant
  3. Pastry Chef of the Year - Bronze by Chef Neville Tucker of Long Bay Beach Club
  4. Bartender of the Year - Silver by Everson Rawlins of Scrub Island Resort & Spa
  5. Jr. Chef of the Year - Silver by Chef Ariq Flax-Clarke
  6. Seafood Competition -  Bronze by Chef Caswall Ponte of Necker Island Resort
  7. Chocolate Competition- Bronze by Chef Ansony Salmon of Honey and Spice Bakery
  8. Overall Winner for the Beef Competition - Chef Kenneth Molyneaux of Tropical Fusion Restaurant

Premier Smith said, “The team represented the Territory well. Their hard work and preparation in the many Territory-wide pre-competition practice dinners paid off. It is important that we recognise the significance of this accomplishment. But not only that -- we must be proud of it!”

 “I congratulate them for making a mark for themselves, their establishments, and for the BVI. I want to say a simple thank you to each of them and to congratulate them and the rest of the BVI for this accomplishment which has once again placed the BVI in the spotlight of Tourism,” Premier Smith said, adding that the importance of building our brand and attracting the tourists to our shores cannot be overstated.

The BVI National Culinary Team returns home today at the TB Lettsome International Airport at 7:10 p.m. 

“Let us all come out and WELCOME HOME OUR TEAM BVI,” Premier Smith added.

Premier Smith, who is also the Minister responsible for Tourism, said the BVI continue to strive in this competitive tourism industry, offering an authentic experience.

In further expressing his excitement with the BIG WIN, Premier Smith said, “To our visitors, I invite you to take time to experience the BVI, as we indeed have many restaurants that serve the best in local cuisine and specialties prepared by our award-winning “gold-medalist” chefs.

As a reminder, the Premier is also taking the opportunity to encourage every person residing in this Territory to embrace the spirit of ‘One BVI’. 

“Tourism is felt in every corner of our economy and it impacts each of our lives immensely. For this fact alone, we all must work together to continue to build upon the successes thus far so that we can maintain and report on consistent and sustained growth in the tourism sector.

News of the culinary team’s accomplishments in numerous categories highlights the vast variety of culinary experience available in the Territory.  These experiences are on full display during our BVI Food Fete held annually in November.

The Premier added, “I extend an invitation to the launch of BVI Food Fete this Friday, at historic Callwood’s Distillery in Cane Garden Bay, where details on this year’s event will be revealed.  I note that the BVI also has a very young team which augers well for the future of BVI culinary tourism.  I am pleased that our Government educational institutions, the Virgin Islands Technical High School and the HL Stoutt Community College’s Culinary Programme were represented as well as students studying in the field abroad.

On behalf of the Government of the Virgin Islands, Premier Smith is expressing special thanks to the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association, the BVI Tourist Board and other participating sponsors for their continued support to the BVI Culinary Team.

The BVI 2017 team members are: Captain Chef Kenneth Molyneaux of Tropical Fusion Restaurant, Sr. Chef Caswal Ponte of Necker Island Resort, Chef Tonya Malone-Smith of BVI Technical Vocational Institute, Jr Chef Ariq Flax-Clarke of Johnson & Wales University, Jr Chef Lakesha Barry of Johnson & Wales University, Jr Chef Lakeisha King of H. Lavity Stoutt Community College and Jr, Chef Radiance Modeste of BVI Technical Vocational Institute. The team's Pastry Chefs are Chef Neville Tucker of Long Bay Beach Club and Chef Ansony Salmon of Honey & Spice Bakery and Pastry Shop.  The team's Bartender is Everson Rawlins of Scrub Island Resort & Spa.

Taste of the Caribbean is the region's premier culinary competition. Since 1993, the best chefs and culinary teams unite to learn, demonstrate their skills and provide the public a scintillating exhibition of the most savory and delectable treats of the islands.


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