Watch my video on the Taste of St. Croix here, then read more below:
Ahhhh I have had a “taste” of paradise and I sure liked it. I just got back from judging the 2011 Taste of St. Croix. What a blast! We stayed at the Divi Carina Beach Bay resort, right where the festival was held. My 7-month-old Alexia got her first taste of warm weather, it was the first time her toes touched the sand and of course the first time she took a dip in the ocean.
I was one of three judges in the vegetarian category of the competition. I loved judging along with Chefs from Top Chef, Iron Chef, Top Chef Masters, Top Chef Just Desserts and many more. Check out the video to see them all.
About 60 restaurants submitted entries in the competition, about 10 were in our category. We, of course, didn’t know which Chefs were behind which dishes.
Imagine our surprise when we found out the dish we picked as the winner, a Veggie Basil Spinach Lasagna was made by St. Croix’s Central High School After School Cooking Class. Those are some great future Chefs (perhaps I’ll get to taste their dishes at future food festivals).
In second place: We picked the fried edamame tossed in a sriracha teriyaki & sprinkled with toasted black and white sesame seeds. I thought this dish was very unique.
Edamame is always served the same way, sprinkled with a little salt. This was definately a twist. The only thing is since you can’t eat the shells, you don’t get all the flavors. It was still enough though to make it a winning dish.
Last was a dish I absolutely loved (but I guess the other two judges didn’t love it quite as much).
In third place was a Coconut Curry by Shanti Shawa Vital Ital Experience. It was a curry dish on top of Indian basmati rice with green papaya, tofu and chick peas. It was delish. I’m going to try to recreate it at home.