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Ivanna Eudora Kean High School Student Wows Them At Taste of The Caribbean in Miami

CREATIVE CHEF: Nandi Furet of St. Thomas showed she had the right stuff when it comes to culinary creations. Furet, a senior at Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, got top honors at the 2017 Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s Taste of the Caribbean competition in Miami.

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MIAMI — Ivanna Eudora Kean High School (IEKHS) senior Nandi Furet wowed judges with her culinary skills and was named the 2017 Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) Junior Chef at the organization’s Taste of the Caribbean culinary competition held in Florida this month.

Taste of the Caribbean serves as “a medium for gathering practical information, developing skills, sampling, purchasing, strengthening supplier relationships and meeting new vendors. One goal of the event is to help attendees build food and beverage business and yield bottom line benefits,” according to the CHTA website.

The Virgin Islands Department of Tourism co-sponsored the event as a CHTA member.

IEKHS culinary instructor Chef Kerish Robles, who participated in Taste of the Caribbean a decade ago just after graduating from high school, is passing on the opportunity to her students.

“Three of them were eligible to compete for the title and Nandi came out on top to represent the U.S. Virgin Islands as the Junior Chef on the territory’s team,” Robles said. “Each chef competes individually and on a team of six members, namely a team captain, a pastry chef, bartender, a junior chef and two chefs.”

The annual event is comprised of a number of competitions, including pastry chef, seafood and beef, Chef of the Year, and Juinor Chef.  The event attracts islands from across the Caribbean.

“Nandi Furet represented the Virgin Islands effectively and was instrumental in the V.I. team capturing the silver medal,” Robles said. “In the individual junior chef competition, her combination of herbs produced amazing flavors, which received rave reviews. Her menu for the junior chef competition included my famous pumpkin lemongrass soup as a sauce for her dish.”

Furet’s menu for the “Hawks Nest Paradise” dish she prepared for the the Junior Chef competition included names of Virgin Islands’ locations. Ingredients included lemon balm marinated sautéed shrimp, garlic herb mashed yam, coconut nest, tamarind pickled onion, wild spinach accompanied with Bordeaux Mountain Pumpkin and lemongrass crema, and Mum’s Coral Bay Garden Dianthus.

The CHTA competition took place from June 2 to 6 in Miami.

OUTSTANDING ORGANIZATION: Students and teachers from the Virgin Islands participated in the Taste of the Caribbean competition in Miami earlier this month.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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