The prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) award for the Best Bartender in France went to Stéphane Ginouves, the head bartender at Hotel Fouquet's Barrière in Paris. Ginouves won the competition, which only takes place every four years, based on his speed, organization, knowledge, respect for trade rules and final taste. His winning cocktail was called Beautiful Day and it was made from mango and strawberry nectars, cognac and Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge. Before coming to Barriere, Stephane Ginouves worked at Disneyland Paris, Hotel Westminister and Warwick Champs-Elysees.
Numerous chefs and mixologists were honored at the annual Taste of the Caribbean event in Miami with top honors going to…
Caribbean Culinary Team of the Year: Trinidad & Tobago Culinary Team.
Bahama Breeze® Island Grille Caribbean Chef of the Year: Mitchell Husbands, Barbados.
Albert Uster Imports Caribbean Pastry Chef of the Year: Kunal Chakrabarti, U.S. Virgin Islands.
Caribbean Bartender of the Year: Humphrey Lew Jen Tai, Curacao.
Caribbean Junior Chef of the Year: Mikhala Bagot, British Virgin Islands.
Hans Schenk Commemorative Award for the Most Innovative Menu: \ Jamaica Culinary Team
Most Innovative Dish: Kevin Pratt, junior chef from The Bahamas
Best Use of Cheese: Negust Kaza, U.S. Virgin Islands and Fernando Parilla, Puerto Rico.
Best Mac & Cheese: St. Lucia for Smoked Saltfish Mac & Cheese with freshly made Lucian Ketchup.
Best Use of Orchid Chocolate: Barbados.
Most Creative Drink, Most Creative Rum Drink and Most Creative Vodka Drink: Daniyel Jones, Trinidad & Tobago.
Most Creative Non-Alcoholic Drink: Jamal Bowen, Barbados.
The Spirit of the Competition: Puerto Rico Culinary Team.
New York wines did well in front of California judges at the Long Beach Grand Cru competition run by Dan Berger. With over 1,400 entries from around the world competing, with wines from New York receiving recognition. The big winner was Coyote Moon Vineyards. They took home Best Rose Wine, Gold for La Crescent, Gold for Brianna, and an additional two Silvers and five Bronzes for other wines. Gold also went to Anyela's Vineyards, Belhurst, Chateau LaFayette Reneau, Dr. Konstantin Frank, Fulkerson Winery, Goose Watch Winery, Lucas Vineyards, Merritt Estate Winery, Swedish Hill Winery, Torrey Ridge Winery and Wagner Vineyards. The majority of the winners are located in the Finger Lakes region.
And speaking of New York wine… A heartfelt note of sympathy to the family of Debra Whiting. Along with husband David, Debra owned Red Newt Winery and was a chef at their bistro, which I had the pleasure of eating at last fall. Whiting was killed in an accident on the New York Thruway.