Barbados Culinary Team returns home

Team manager focused on creating opportunities for team members.

The Barbados Culinary Team is back home with one bronze, five silver and two gold medals, with one member clinching the title Chef of the Year.

The 13-member, all-male team returned to Barbados last night after competing at the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) Taste Of The Caribbean competition from June 6- 10 in Miami.

Team manager Chef Henderson Butcher said, “I'm elated the guys did as well as they did.” 

Speaking to the media at the Arrivals hall at the Grantley Adams International Airport last night, Chef Butcher says that he now wants to focus on where these chefs go after the competition.

"It is okay for the chefs to consider going into competitions, but when they come back home they just go back to work. I am going to be looking strongly at that this year because it is time that the chefs really benefit from this. If this process is to take us forward and it is for exposure and it is for growth for the chefs, there have to be avenues that they could pursue,” he asserted.

Barbados' team members were Chefs Damian Leach, Willis Griffith, Kirk Ruck and Wilwore Jordan; Pastry Chefs Javon Cummins and Ron Maynard; Junior Chefs Nicolas Ifill and Marvin Applewhaite and Bartenders Ryan Adamson and Philip Antoine, accompanied by Team Manager Henderson Butcher, bartender manager Jamaal Bowen and bartender trainer Rohan Hackshaw.

Chef of the Year, Damian Leach, has been involved in the culinary arts for 11 years, but this was his first time at Taste of the Caribbean. He told Loop News:

“I feel fantastic. It is what I dreamt about for a long time and it has finally happened,” he said.

He also confessed that preparation was “tiresome and intense”, but that team manager Henderson Butcher brought out the best in them.

Ryan Adamson, who won Gold in the Bartender Of The Year competition, told Loop News it was an “excellent” feeling.

“I went Miami to do exactly what I did,” he said, though admitting that the competition was “pretty fierce”.

He has been in three previous competitions, but this was his first time competing on such a large scale.

Watch the video now to hear from the team upon arrival.

Team Barbados results:

CHEF OF THE YEAR (Winner) – Damian Leach
CHEF OF THE YEAR (Gold) – Damian Leach
BARTENDER OF THE YEAR (Gold) – Ryan Adamson
PASTRY CHEF OF THE YEAR (Silver) – Javon Cummins
JUNIOR CHEF OF THE YEAR (Silver) – Marvin Applewhaite
SEAFOOD COMPETITION (Silver) – Wilwore Jordan
BEEF COMPETITION - Sponsored by Certified Angus Beef (Bronze) – Kirk Ruck