St. John’s Antigua- Two teams of culinary professionals and students, who recently represented Antigua & Barbuda in the fifth annual Cattlemen’s Caribbean BBQ Competition in San Juan, Puerto Rico, returned home with gold medals.
Team Soul Food of the Antigua & Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute (ABHTI), which was the overall winner of the inaugural Antigua & Barbuda Smoking Hot BBQ Challenge last month, took part in numerous categories at the international competition. These included the beef, brisket, chicken, ribs, BBQ sauce and pork butts categories. The team walked away with a gold medal for “Best BBQ Sauce” from among 52 other teams and won a year’s supply of pork butts. The delegation also had a crowd pleaser and the judges’ favourite, in a spicy mango and pineapple sauce.
The team, which comprises Chef Instructor and Team Leader Khayyam Benjamin, Zillah Lindsay, Michael Prince, Eustace Cabrall and Matara Murphy, is now looking forward to participating in other international competitions, including one to be held in Tennessee later this year.
According to a press release from the ABHTI, “They are looking forward to participating in the Tennessee Cattleman International BBQ Competition, which will be held in Tennessee in October 2012.”
The other delegation, which placed third in the local BBQ challenge, also took part in a number of categories, and walked away with two gold medals for showmanship on days one and two of the competition.
The Jumby Bay Smoking Grillers put not only food on display, but also the culture of Antigua & Barbuda, by decorating with the madras and the country’s flag. The team also made available sweet pan music for patrons to listen to and served Johnny cakes to those who visited the booth.
Twenty-two-year-old pit master Christopher Terry said the team, “represented the country well. We were the prettiest group. We often take our flag for granted, but it’s very beautiful.”
Although the team did not win in the main categories, Terry believes that the team did very well, since many who attended the competition visited the booth and were able to sample its cuisine.
“Puerto Rico dominated the competition but we had the crowd,” he said. “A lot of people wanted to sample the brisket, pork butt and other dishes that we prepared.”
He added, “It was a lovely experience, a lot of hard work, but when patrons are lining up to sample your food, you know you have done something right.”
The Jumby Bay Grillers had a delegation of seven, including assistant pit master Charlesworth Jeremy (sous chef at Jumby Bay); cooks – Shonoya Roberts and Randolph Looby; marketing representative Samari Georges, who encouraged people to visit the team’s booth; Jumby Bay human resources manager Leisa McDonald; Shirlindia Lewis, Jumby Bay representative and pit master Christopher Terry.
The fifth annual Cattlemen’s Caribbean BBQ Competition was held from June 30 – July 1 and hosted teams from Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Puerto Rico and even as far as Australia.