Zozo’s, Creative Catering, Fatty Crab and Matahyom Take Top Honors at Flavors

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The ZoZo’s crew, (L to R) owner John Ferrigno, chef Michael Fortino and sous chef Andrew Clifford, celebrate their appetizer victory at Flavors of St. John.

Lori Dudkin, above, of Creative Catering celebrates her best dessert win.

A well-heeled crowd of St. John residents sipped and noshed their way through a delectable selection of food and drinks at the Rotary Club of St. John annual fundraiser Flavors, on Saturday night, November 23, at the Westin Resort and Villas.

A total of 22 of the island’s top restaurant chefs, caterers and bartenders participated in the event, vying for the title of best mixology, best appetizer, best entree, best dessert and crowd favorite. The night also featured wines from around the world courtesy of Bellows International, West Indies Company, Dionysis and Prestige Wine Group.

The entrants were judged by a group of culinary professionals led by Jan Robinson and included Chris Mitchell, Eileen Mills, Kim McCall, James Crowther  and Richard Wiggins.

After sipping the imaginative concoctions available, Fatty Crab’s Chupacabra, a chili spiced watermelon tequila, took top honors in the mixology category. Asolar took second place while Motu took third.

Best appetizer went to Zozo’s  at the Sugarmill’s imported Camazola cheese wrapped and pan fried in smoked prosciutto with blackberries and greens. Queen of Tarts’ goat cheese and caramelized onion tartlet took second place in the appetizer category while Bowman Cuisine at Tamarind Court’s seared tuna wonton with baby greens, mango and avocado was named third place.

First place in the entree category this year went to St. John Catering/Mathayom Private Chefs for their delicious java seared lamb chop with rosemary grits and roasted brussel sprouts.

Fatty Crab’s seared steak with mint chimmichuri was awarded second place in the entree category and Caneel Bay Resort’s impressive and rotating selection of sushi dishes took third place in the entree division.

Lori Dudkin of Creative Catering’s whiskey caramel cheesecake with hazelnut crust and smoked sea salt took first place in the dessert category. Queen of Tart’s took second place with her tirami-sushi, with lady fingers, and Cafe Livin took third place in the dessert category.

In addition to the judges panel, Flavors attendees had the chance to vote for their favorite offerings of the night. After tallying more than 100 votes, La Tapa’s sauteed mussels with a touch of cream, fresh squeezed lemon juice and fresh herbs, and Caneel Bay’s sushi selections tied for crowd favorite.

The crowd also had the chance to bid on a selection of silent auction items, from several nights stays at local hotels to boat charters and more. After enjoying all those dishes and drinks, Flavors attendees burned off those calories dancing to Cool Session Brass Band.

All that fun was also for a good cause. Funds from the night will go to support the Rotary Club’s scholarship as well as fund other community projects. Rotary members were thrilled with the turnout.

“St. John Rotary Club congratulates the ‘winners’ and thanks all the participants and our guests for making Flavors 2013 — our 11th Flavors — the best ever,” said Rotary Club of St. John past president John Fuller. “Also, thanks to the many volunteers who helped us do it, and to The Westin St John Resort and Villas for their incredible support and a great venue.”

Participants in Flavors 2013 were Asolar, Bowman Cuisine at Tamarind Court, Cafe Livin, Canella, Creative Catering, Fatty Crab, High Tide, La Tapa, Motu Bar, Ocean Grill, Queen of Tarts, Spyglass, Starfish and Starfish Gourmet and Wines, Caneel Bay’s Sushi Bar, the Fish Trap, Lime Inn, St. John Brewers, Zozo’s at the Sugarmill, Gifft Hill School Farm to Table and St. John Catering/Mathayom Private Chefs.