Taste of the Caribbean 2012

Tasting the Caribbean in Miami

Taste of the Caribbean 2012

Taste of the Caribbean is a showcase of Caribbean cuisine held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Miami. Chefs from Caribbean hotel and resort destinations attend seminars and hear keynote speakers, participate in and enjoy a culinary trade show, and compete in a series of culinary challenges that showcase the region’s most popular and innovative flavors.

There are individual and team awards, a Taste of the Islands challenge and more —including an individual Certified Angus Beef ® competition for best use of beef in a dish. The winner earns a trip to the brand’s next beef industry chefs’ tour.

Taste of the Caribbean 2012

The Certified Angus Beef ® brand has sponsored the event for 10 years, donating beef for a series of mystery basket challenges. This year’s featured beef cuts included bottom sirloin flap, chuck flap, center cut top sirloin, coulotte and tri-tip.

Taste fo the Caribbean 2012

Competitors composed 11 teams from Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, British Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, and Curacao. Each team consists of two senior chefs, a junior chef, team captain, pastry chef, and a bartender. Usually 20-30 people come along to support the culinary team including hotel association executives, media, general managers, and the food and beverage directors from the hotel properties.

On Friday night there is a festival celebrating Caribbean street food. Each culinary team has a booth decorated with local décor and serves food and drinks from their respective islands. Music and dancing highlight the event. Booths are judged and points are included in the team’s total score.

Taste of the Caribbean 2012

Chef Scott Popovic, Heather Hays and Maggie O’Quinn staffed the brand’s trade show booth and answered questions on everything from cooking with beef to showcasing it on menus. Chef Scott prepared his own taste of the Caribbean for participants:

  • Grilled tri-tip with black bean salad, cucumber red onion slaw & cumin sour cream
  • Marinated grilled bottom sirloin flap steak with boniato mash, jicama mango slaw and root beer reduction
  • Marinated & sautéed clod heart wrap with apple slaw, sriracha aioli and chips

Taste of the Caribbean was most definitely a delicious event. For a complete list of winners and the hotels they represent, click here. It might be a great place to start if you’re considering a vacation in the Caribbean!

And Chef Scott was willing to share one of his mouthwatering recipes with Rare readers. Enjoy!

Roasted Certified Angus Beef ® Filet of Strip Steak with Boniato Mash, Jicama, Mango Slaw and Rootbeer Reduction

Ingredients for 12 portions

  • 9 lbs. Certified Angus Beef ® filet of strip
  • 5 lbs. Boniato, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 gallon milk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 medium jicama, peeled and julienned thin
  • 2 mangos, peeled and julienned thin
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, stems removed
  • 2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon grape seed oil
  • 1 quart rootbeer reduced over medium heat in a saucepan until thickened like syrup. Put in squeeze bottle.
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. To make boniato mash, cook diced boniato in a medium pan covered with milk and salt until soft. Drain and reserve milk. Rice the boniato adding butter and milk to the consistency of mashed potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. To create slaw, combine mango, jicama, cilantro, vinegar and oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Season filet of strip with salt and pepper and roast in until medium rare doneness (roasting instructions). Let rest and slice into 8 oz. portions.
  4. Serve over boniato mash. Drizzle syrup on plate.
Recipe provided by the Certified Angus Beef ® brand


Published by

Jennifer Kiko

Jennifer lives on a rural route with her husband, kids, horses, cows and faithful Labs, Cash and Carter. She's an aspiring foodie and enjoys making good food for great friends. She lives next door to a winery, plays the piano, and admits to growing too many tomatoes.