Young V.I. chefs face off at the Ritz

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ST. THOMAS - The USVI Hotel and Tourism Association conducted a competition Monday at the Great Bay Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas to select a Junior Chef for the USVI Culinary Team.

Four competitors, Denika Joseph and Brandi Burry from St. Thomas, and Kaylisha Jerris and Sayif Brooks from St. Croix, competed in two rounds, each of which was followed by a tasting.

The winner of the competition, who will join the culinary team this year as a junior chef, is expected to be named today.

"The competition was very close," said Hotel and Tourism Association President Lisa Hamilton.

The four chefs were given a mystery basket containing scallops, bacon, butter, onion, red wine, green beans, garlic and cashews and had to create a dish using all of the ingredients. The chefs also could augment their entrees with others foods from The Ritz-Carlton pantry.

The chefs had one hour to do food prep, prepare sauces and write up their menus and then had one hour to cook their entrees.

The USVI Culinary Team will participate in several events locally and regionally throughout 2014, including the internationally recognized Taste of the Caribbean from June 28 through July 2 in Miami.

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