OYSTER POND – The Sint Maarten Culinary Team for the annual CHTA Taste of the Caribbean Competition in June has convened for the first time to meet, brainstorm and compose a conceptual menu.

Though the team builds on last year’s award-winning composition, the first meeting served to get mutually acquainted as well as to compose a training menu for four fundraiser menus. This week Thursday, the fundraiser series will kick off at Infiniti Restaurant (Oyster Bay Beach Resort), 7:30pm.

After some hours of deliberation, the 2017 national team came up with a menu of challenging concepts trying their disciplines on the road to Miami.

After a welcome cocktail called SXM Swizzle made by Paul Peterson (Temptation), Newcomer Justin Assendelft (Holland House) will kick off with “Coloring Scallops” as a designated candidate for the 2017 seafood category. As a main course, Chef Pieter Holstein (Rum and Peas/Canoa Restaurant) will present his “Jumping Jamaican Beefjerk” for the meat category. Chef Ronald Estephane (Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino) will finish off with a “Going Nuts” creation contesting the June Chocolatier category.

Awarded 2016 Chef Suzirea Adoptie (Student at NIPA) will again be the junior representing St. Maarten.

The 2017 national team will be led by Captain Renata De Weever (Sonesta Great Bay Resort & Casino/NIPA). Chef Dino Jagtiani (Temptation Restaurant) will be Sint Maartens envoy for the Caribbean Chef of the Year category.

In 2016, the St. Maarten team participated for the first time after many years absence and won various prizes. By organizing the event, SHTA hopes to both put country Sint Maarten in the spotlight internationally as a top notch culinary destination, as well as to train a new generation of hospitality talent.

In preparation for the 2017 Event the SHTA St. Maarten Culinary Team will host three extra fundraising dinners:

Thursday, May 4th 7:30 pm at Ocean Lounge Bar & Restaurant in Holland House Hotel

Thursday, May 18th 7:30 pm at Canoa Restaurant in Oyster Pond

Wednesday, May 31st 7:30 pm at Temptation Restaurant in Cupecoy

Organizers invite all those fine food and wine lovers to support the team by attending these practice/fundraising dinners. Please note that last year all the dinners were sold out in advance so visitors are encouraged to reserve your spots as early as possible by contacting office@shta.com or calling

1-721-542-0108. Tickets are $95 each per person, including a 4 or 5-course dinner paired with wine. Prearranged vegetarian menus are available.

The organizing parties are still seeking additional sponsorship. We hope that the community of St. Maarten will join us in the effort to ensure the successful participation of the team, if you support our cause, please contact the SHTA office.

Organizing parties and participants thank the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau, Sonesta Group of companies, PDG, Anderson Fabrics, PWC, PRIME, Oyster Bay Beach Resort, Carl’s Unique Inn, Antillean liquors, Steve Connolly Sea foods, NIPA and Sundial School who have already committed to supporting the culinary team.

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