Claudine Toussaint wins mix off

POSTED: 06/10/13 2:34 PM

St. Maarten – The setting was perfect for the finals in the YDP mix off at Divi Little Bay last Friday, the judges knew what to look for and the competition between the five aspiring bartenders was keen, but after two rounds of competition, the top prize was awarded to Claudine Toussaint.

The competition which was organized by the Youth Development Program and funded by Usona involved five participants who spent the past three months learning some of the basics in bartending and waitressing under the expert guidance of Dwayne Mars and Kevin Rouse.

“Our objective is to give young boys and girls who may have dropped out of school another opportunity to be able to fit into the job industry. They have been scrutinized properly over the past three months and today they have an opportunity to show what they have learnt. Originally, it was six participants, but only five made it to the end,” Mars said.

Participating in the Mix off were Claudine Toussaint, Lisa Ernest, Valon Joseph, Juan Alexi Reyes and Jericha Matilda. For the first round, each participant was required to set up and break down a formal dinner table where timing, presentation and accuracy were of vital importance.

For the grand finale, each participant was asked to come up with two individual cocktail recipes using the available alcoholic beverages at their disposal. In addition to the choice of blends, the participant had the option to name whatever was prepared within a specified four minute time frame.

This time, the judges were looking for accuracy, presentation, cleanliness and creativity and while it was evident that some of them appeared nervous, they all displayed their individual abilities to be able to be examples for others to follow.

At the conclusion of the Mix Off, the participants were commended for their abilities and they were presented with certificates of participation and bar tool kits. According to Mars, the next step is to place the participants into hotels for two to three days.

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