What happens when you get about a dozen Hyatt chefs from Florida and the Caribbean in the same kitchen? One heck of a culinary competition for the Good Taste event, a new addition to the hotel chain's lineup.
With the theme of 'thoughtfully sourced, carefully served,' hotel chefs from across the nation have been gathering in regional battles for a shot at competing nationally this fall at the Andaz Wailea Maui.
I attended the qualifying contest for Florida and the Caribbean, at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay and it was torture. Torture because I was not a food judge, just an observer who had to wait THREE HOURS to try any food. Torture because each dish looked better than the last, with ingredients that made me salivate and quiver.
Each chef made three dishes; a breakfast item, a lunch or dinner entree and a kid's meal. The rounds were timed perfectly and the tension in the kitchen was thick.
As the chef's explained the local ingredients they used and other highlights, the judges dug in. And in the end, Noel Willhite, Sous Chef at Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Estero was the victor. Congratulations to all the chefs and their outstanding creations.