the search for the most talented chefs and bartenders to represent T&T came to an end with a... hmm... bang doesn't seem right to say as we're talking about cocktails. let's go with SPLASH! day 2 of the THRTA food & beverage competition was the mixology round in which 18 bartenders (minus one who unfortunately passed away before the competition) competed for the 1 coveted spot on the team. now, just to give a quick insight as to why it's such a big deal, the T&T team is the team to beat at the annual TASTE OF THE CARIBBEAN competition. last year in miami, the team won gold and master mixologist daniyel jones won prizes for best rum drink, best vodka drink and most creative cocktail overall. in other words, we have it goin' on.
anyway, the competitors worked 3 at a time (with one group of 2) and had 4 minutes to complete 2 glasses of their original cocktails. one for the judges/samples and one for display. and yes, the audience got samples too. a good competition to be at if only for that.
there were 3 rounds. in the first round, the bartenders got to prep their garnishes before preparing a rum drink and likewise in the 2nd round for a vodka drink. the top 6 competitors from these two rounds went on to the final round in which they had to produce 2 glasses of their unique creations from a mystery bar of ingredients. they were given 15 minutes to submit a recipe for their cocktails, then 10 minutes to execute it before the judges.
though the bartenders exhibited a sense of style in their presentations, some even going as far as describing the processes they were using, this wasn't a flair competition. the judges were focused on the classic cocktail and the methodology behind them.
once again, people following the competition over the years commented that the level this year was remarkably high. i guess we came in at a good time. now we did get shots of the drinks and such and footage to put the names to the faces, but we have to hold off on the ingredients for now. can't sell out the blends before the competition. it's serious we tell yuh! check them out (click on the slideshow to view photos):
the final 6 boiled down to (in no specific order) daniyel jones, amanda richards, carla cupid, abiola jules, clinton ramdhan and asha beharry.
as we mentioned, we have to hold off on the recipes for now, but maybe when they announce the winners in 2 weeks, we'll see what we can gather. if not, we'll update the blog after the competition when things aren't so secret. it was an exciting time. our first mixology competition was everything that we expected. check out the vid and see the stars in action: