Caribbean’s Best Chefs

If you’re a fan of the cooking competition shows on TV, the Hyatt Regency in Miami will be your heaven the weekend of June 28 and 29th.  The hotel is hosting “Taste of the Caribbean,” an annual showcase that pits ten national teams from the islands to decide who’s best at making lunch, dinner, pastry or a cocktail. Not only do you get to watch the chefs and bartenders compete, you get to taste.  The battles culminate in Taste of the Islands, a contest on Saturday night that highlights the street food of the Caribbean.  Stroll, feel the island vibe and devour the goodies from 6-9 PM. Tickets are $30.

This year, Bonaire will be competing under the direction of team captain Robertico Bernabela, a very promising young chef at the Divi Flamingo Beach. Even after countless practice sessions, the team nonetheless will be as surprised as their fellow Caribbean competitors when they confront the mystery ingredients from which they must concoct a three course lunch.

Chances are there was a little Cadushy on hand at each practice in Bonaire.  That’s the national liqueur of Bonaire.  And, chances are the team explored how a little splash of Cadushy could spike up just about anything.  Teams are allowed to bring an ingredient to the competition as long as other teams have access to use it as an ingredient as well.   But’s here where the edge is:  nobody knows Cadushy like a Bonairean.

Cadushy is distinctive in many ways.  It’s the world’s only liquor made from cactus, the kadushi cactus that grows on Bonaire.  Next time you are there, take a free tour of the distillery. It’s open Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Of course, there is a store where you will also find the only vodka made from cactus, too.  Stock up and explore the wonders of Cadushy in your own kitchen or bar.

Cadushy is best-enjoyed ice cold.  Also, it’s best if you’re sitting on a beach at the Divi Flamingo in Bonaire or enjoyed with a meal at the Chibi Chibi.  Take note that Robertico Bernabela will immediately return to his kitchen at Divi Flamingo Beach where he honed the skills that earned him the a place on the Bonaire national culinary team.  Meaning when you stay at Divi Flamingo Beach, you get to enjoy a culinary winner every day.

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