2017 National Culinary Team announced

Caption: The Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Ms. Ethlyn John (c), stands with the 2017 National Culinary Team. (Photo courtesy the Ministry of Tourism)

March 29, 2017: The new Trinidad and Tobago Culinary Team, led by Team Captain Adrian Cumberbatch, was announced at the “MAKING THE CUTT” Culinary Competition’s Awards Ceremony.

Organised by the Trinidad Hotels, Restaurants and Tourism Association (THRTA), the event took place on Tuesday March 28, 2017 at the Port of Spain Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Trinidad.

The Trinidad and Tobago Culinary Team is as follows:-


Brandon Maharaj                 - Chef                                   - Salis Restaurant Pub & Grill

Aswad Forde                       - Chef                                   - Hyatt Regency Trinidad

Tyrone Benjamin                 - Bartender                          - Nari’s On the Avenue

Anasuya Jackson                 - Pastry Chef                        - Jaffa at the Oval

Rondell Thompson             - Junior Chef                         - H2Go Foods

Ridge Juman                       - Alternate Chef                   - Fanatic Kitchen Studio

Shana Rajahram                  - Alternate Bartender          - The Rise Restaurant


This National Culinary Team will compete against their Caribbean counterparts at the highly prestigious “TASTE OF THE CARIBBEAN” culinary competition, organised  by the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHTA), which will be held in Miami from June 2nd to 6th this year.

“TASTE OF THE CARIBBEAN” is an annual culinary competition where the competitors cook, mix and present food and drink to be judged on taste as well as execution of skills and presentation. 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of Trinidad and Tobago’s participation in this premier Caribbean competition.

In congratulating the THRTA on its commitment in highlighting the best of Trinidad and Tobago’s culinary delights, the Acting Permanent Secretary Ms. Ethlyn John, stressed that “Government recognises the importance of developing a cadre of qualified and well-trained culinary professionals for the sustainable development of our tourism industry; in particular the food tourism niche.” Permanent Secretary Ethlyn John continued that “the choosing of this 2017 Culinary Team comes at a significant time in the evolution of our tourism product. A time when the Ministry of Tourism is focused on forging new paths for the tourism sector as far as product development and a re-defined marketing thrust”.


The Ministry of Tourism reaffirmed its dedicated commitment to building on relationships with all of its tourism stakeholders through meaningful collaboration, cooperation and engagement.

Special awards and prizes were distributed as follows:


  • Brandon Maharaj Chef of the Year
  • Rondell Thompson Junior Chef of the Year
  • Anasuya Jackson Pastry Chef of the Year
  • Tyrone Benjamin Bartender of the Year
  • Jordan Cox, TTHTI Student, Best Rum Drink
  • Shana Rajahram Best Vodka Drink
  • Naomi Lovell of the Hyatt Regency Trinidad for the Most Creative Menu (Junior and Senior Chefs)


In 2016 the Trinidad and Tobago Culinary Team “trumped” its Caribbean counterparts by winning the Caribbean Team of the Year an unprecedented six (6) times as well as five (5) other Gold medals and two (2) silver medals.



For further information please contact:

The Corporate Communications Unit

Ministry of Tourism




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