There’s a good reason why Christina Jones-Garcia, the chef of Tuscan Sun, is smiling in this photo. She nabbed third place in a prestigious cooking competition.
Each year the Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association, a trade group that promotes professionalism and ethics in the yachting business, hosts a competition among charter chefs at the industry-only St. Maarten Charter Show. Held in December, the most recent competition, called the Concours de Chefs, saw Jones-Garcia as well as two other megayacht chefs in International Yacht Collection’s fleet walk away honors.
The theme, “The Spanish Influence Upon Caribbean Cuisine,” pushed them to make dishes embodying these flavors and, of course, outdo their competition. They were divided into two categories, “140 feet and below” and “over 140 feet.”
In the former, Amanda Hutching of Namoh walked away with top honors for this mouth-watering menu: grilled, citrus-glazed swordfish on toasted bomba rice “couscous” with roasted peppers, golden raisins, and dried mango; cilantro-mint mojo sauce and almonds; warm Spanish doughnuts over corn and molasses ice cream; and lemon dulce de leche with saffron coulis.
In the same category, John Chamberlain of Lucky Seven received second place. If Hutching’s menu didn’t make your mouth water, try his: crispy braised pork cheek and curry-seared tuna foie gras with frothed yucca puree and a sofrito reduction. For dessert: mango-rum flan cake and coconut churro, served with a warm orange champurrado sauce.
So what about Jones-Garcia, who won in the “over 140 feet” category? Take a good look at the dish here. She prepared adobe-dusted red snapper in a citrus-infused beurre blanc, served with mango and black bean salsa as well as coconut-saffron steamed rice. For dessert, she prepared dulce de leche-soaked almond cake and rum-poached bananas with passion fruit cream.
Remind me to refrain from writing about chefs at breakfast time; now the yogurt I’m about to eat just doesn’t hold the usual appeal…