#Providenciales, August 10, 2018 – Turks and Caicos – The Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA) is excited to welcome Wridju Mukherji, winner of the 2018 Cocktail Week Bartender Competition, to Team TCI.
Mukherji, an employee of Amanyara Resort, took the top spot over his five competitors during the Cocktail Cook-off and Bartender Competition earning himself a cash prize of $1,000 in addition to securing his spot on Team TCI for their 2019 season. The event, held on July 28th at The Landing Restaurant & Bar, was the grand finale of Cocktail Week and a joint venture between The Wine Cellar and the TCHTA.
Speaking on the talent displayed by the bartenders during the event, Stacy Cox, CEO of the TCHTA, said, “The Turks and Caicos Islands has a tremendous reputation when it comes to culinary talent, and that talent certainly includes our many skilled and creative bartenders and mixologists as well”. Cox also commented on her organization and their partnership with The Wine Cellar for this event, “This is our second year working with The Wine Cellar and it continues to be a great partnership. Together we’re able to highlight the amazing culinary professionals in the TCI and showcase their commitment to their craft while simultaneously identifying potential members for our award-winning Team TCI”.
This year’s event saw a large gathering that enjoyed the thrill of the competition and had the opportunity to sample all of the competition cocktails. The bartenders represented six local venues: The Shore Club, The Pavilion at The Somerset, Grace Bay Club, Kalooki’s, Amanyara, and Pelican Bay Restaurant & Bar at Royal West Indies Resort.
Turks & Caicos Cocktail Week was a three-day event, starting with the highly anticipated “Hendrik’s Most Unusual Brunch” hosted by Kalooki’s restaurant in Le Vele Plaza on July 26th. Following that was “The Perfect Pair “– Zacapa Rum and Indian Cuisine at Garam Masala on the 27th, the “TCHTA Bartender of the Year” competition at The Landing on the 28th, and the “Ketel One Tapas Brunch” at The Shore Club on July 29th. Special guest Martin Gutierrez, renowned mixologist of the Le Petite Maison in Miami, Florida, hosted a clinic during the week with a focus on showing the competing bartenders how to incorporate fresh, local fruits and vegetables into their spirited creations in order to make them more unique and alluring. Gutierrez was also a judge for the bartender competition.
While Mukherji took home the top prize and will now be a part of the award-winning Team TCI when they compete in the 2019 Taste of the Caribbean Competition, there were other winners as well. Delorno Mosley of Kalooki’s and Markenson Deetjeen of Pelican Bay tied for second place, with David Campbell of The Pavilion taking third place.
Cox concluded the event by saying, “We’re creating avenues to get our bartenders and the TCI brand international exposure. I congratulate Wridju Mukherji and all the other competitors on a job well done, and I encourage them to continue working at their craft as they better themselves and the TCI culinary scene”.