Over 400 people attended the event Ultimate Flavors of the Islands, presented by Banco Popular last Friday, May 30th at the Frenchman’s Reef and Morning Starr Marriott Beach Resort in St. Thomas.
For the third consecutive year, attendees were able to taste a variety of dishes and drinks from local restaurants, observe chefs in action at the demo kitchens and witness the Chefs Challenge.
“This event is more than offering excellent food and bringing together known chefs. What we try to offer is an experience for the community and the students that are developing their skills in the culinary arts. Our focus is on the education and development of our youth,” stated Oran C. Bowry, Senior Vice President of Banco Popular’s Virgin Islands Region.
The event united world-renowned chefs, such as: Brad Farmerie, Paulette Goto, José Enrique, Rachel Pol, Matthew Gennuso, Elizabeth Falkner, and Efraín Cruz.
With the funds from ticket sales, Banco Popular will donate equipment and culinary tools to the USVI Department of Education. As an additional community gesture, one of the event’s sponsors, General Electric, donated two free standing ranges with oven and one cook top to the Department to be used for its culinary programs.
Aside from the main event, over 50 students from St. Thomas, St. Croix and Tortola had the opportunity of exchanging stories and ideas with the guest chefs at a mentoring session. During the session, the chefs offered some ‘trade secrets’ that led to their success and encouraged the students to give their all, worked in any position offered to them in the industry and to never stop learning. They also shared their beginnings in the industry and provided advice on how to get to that level of success.
After the mentoring session, Jeff Butler from the International Culinary Center shared techniques on how to handle and cut poultry. Some of the students also served as volunteers at Friday’s event.
On Thursday evening, one hundred people were part of an exclusive four course dinner prepared by none other than the guest chefs themselves.
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