SHTA Culinary Competition St. Maarten/St. Martin 2016 announces winners

~Senior chef positions filled on the team~

PHILIPSBURG – The St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) along with the organizing committee for the 2016 Culinary Competition St. Maarten/St. Martin are pleased to announce the winners of the Senior Chef placement on the National Team to represent St. Maarten in the Taste of the Caribbean in Miami, Florida.

They are: Executive Chef Pieter Holstein of the Food Collective BBA Rum and Peas – St. Maarten, and David Cudicio of Dreams Restaurant in Nettle Bay on the French side. Both chefs earned their position during the competition on Saturday, February 6, by competing against an impressive group of chefs all vying for a place on the team.

In addition to the winners, two chefs were chosen as substitute chefs on the team in the event that one of the chefs is unable to provide representation. Substitutes are: Mariana Shah of Dish D’Lish and Nick Dillinger of Moomba Restaurant. Substitutes will train alongside the team during preparations for Taste of the Caribbean scheduled to be held June 6-10, in Miami.

The Culinary Competition St. Maarten/St. Martin 2016 was held at Sundial School, whose management graciously agreed to host the chefs in their Hospitality Sector Kitchen and Restaurant.

Chefs were required to prepare and present a dish within an hour. The challenge, however, was that chefs were presented with a mystery basket, further underlining their need to bring their expertise and experience to the competition. At 8:30am the competition commenced with the first round of 14 chefs preparing their dishes, showcasing their skills, creativity and on the spot thinking.

The judges, supporters and spectators were treated to beautifully plated dishes and flavors of the final products presented by the chefs. The final decision was announced a little after 5:00pm.

In the coming weeks, the team will continue to take form and begin their training. St. Maarten has not taken part in the Taste of the Caribbean since 2009. In order for the island to be properly represented at the competition, the trainings will be imperative.

To ensure that the team is able to truly compete at international level, the SHTA is calling on the private and public sectors to support the efforts of the team by way of sponsorship. Several businesses have already expressed their interest in the sponsorship options.

Merchant Market, who assisted in providing the necessities to be able to have the chefs compete, is one such business. SHTA thanked Merchant Market for their generous assistance. International sponsors, the Netherlands-based companies Fisch Fix and PFresh also assisted with sponsorship and provided the fresh fish prepared during the competition.

“We hope that the public entities join in with the private sector in an effort to put this team together and ensure their participation by way of their sponsorship. St. Maarten has always performed well at these competitions and we would like to continue to perform well. Only providing the team members with the correct resources and tools can the execution of their highest skills be achieved,” said the organizing committee.

The SHTA would like to thank the Sundial School management, Hospitality Sector, Hospitality form 4 students, and the organizing committee for their hard work in organizing the competition. The association would also like to thank to the judges for their time and expertise, and the supporters who cheered on, and encouraged their favorite chef.

Two more competitions are scheduled to complete the National Team. This time participants will be vying for the position of Pastry Chef and Bartender on the team. SHTA will announce the open call for registration in a subsequent press release.

More information regarding the competition, updates and pictures can be found on the SHTA Facebook page and on

The SHTA is dedicated to bringing quality to all aspects of life on St. Maarten by promoting sustainable economic development for its members in cooperation with the social partners and the creation of a fair marketplace. For more information please contact their office at 542-0108 or visit the website at

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