US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association

Taste of Two Islands_1The USVI Culinary Team took home first place at the 11th Annual Taste of Two Islands in Yacht Haven Grande on Nov. 12. Teammates Michael Matthew, Tatianna Connor and Anthony Peets joined together to create Matthew’s Caribbean twist on shepherd’s pie. Matthew’s recipe called for sweet potato and plantains mixed instead of white potato, local mutton instead of ground beef, and a carrot and pea puree. The crust was made from a flaky puff pastry.

Taste of Two Islands_2“I like to change up normal dishes we all eat and love with some of our local product,” said Matthew. “I just like to show that the local things we eat can be done in so many different ways and taste just as good if not better. At first, [attendees] looked at it because it was different, but when they took a bite, I could see the flavors bouncing around in their mouths.”

About 40 local restaurants and businesses participated in the event, including Margaritaville Vacation Club and the Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas.