It was Kia Harrigan from the Sandals Grande Antigua Resort who reigned supreme in this year’s Mango Pineapple Culinary Competition held today (Sat) at the Antigua and Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute (ABHTI).
The competition which saw some 29 chefs representing some of the island’s top hotels and restaurants commenced at 8:30 am in four categories, Meat, Poultry, Seafood/Fish and Dessert; all of which had to have the key ingredients of locally grown Pineapple and Mango used in unique ways.
When the dishes were presented and the judges deliberated the winners were announced as follows: Naomi Thomas of the Sugar Ridge Resort and Spa was adjudged the winner in the Meat category, Shellon Romeo of the Carlisle Bay Resort won the Poultry category, Lemuel Duberry of the Non Such Bay Resort won the Dessert Category and Kia Harrigan of the Sandals Resort and Spa won the Seafood/Fish category. Kia was adjudged the overall winner amassing the most points in the entire competition thus winning the Dame Gwendolyn Tonge Award.
Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy the Hon. Asot A. Michael in delivering remarks at the competition’s closing and awards ceremony today highlighted the importance of such a unique product to the competitiveness of the twin island tourist destination.
“The annual Mango Festival and this culinary competition is important to us as a nation – as it of course highlights our skills and flavors but it also, strengthens the ties between Agriculture, Gastronomy and Tourism”, stated Minister Michael.
The Hon. Tourism Minister continued that, “It is an event not just for our citizens, but is a major draw for many of our visitors. Travelers are becoming more discerning every day – and so providing exceptional experiences is necessary to not only ensure each visitor has an extraordinary vacation but also is required to ensure that they return again and again”, stated the Hon. Minister.
2017 saw the 12th installation of the culinary competition produced by the Ministry of Tourism, The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Agriculture.