Judges

Meet our Taste 2019 Judges

JAMAL LAKE

Pastry chef from St Croix returns home as Celebrity Judge for 19th Annual Taste of St Croix

Considered a true innovator in the world of pastry, Jamal Lake has been pushing the frontiers of the field since the early 2000s. Jamal is a native of St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands, where he first discovered his passion for the industry. While attending the St. Croix Educational Complex High School he enrolled in the Culinary Arts program led by Chef/Instructor Anton Döös. This is where he got to see the culinary world on a broad spectrum.

Jamal later decided to advance his culinary career, so he moved to West Palm Beach, Florida. He attended the Florida Culinary Institute, where he obtained a degree of High Honors in International Baking and Pastries with a concentration in Food and Beverage management. Jamal has worked at some of Florida’s top restaurants and resorts which includes the PGA National Resort, Bice Ristorante, Mirasol Country Club, and the Breakers Hotel of Palm Beach.

Staying true to his Caribbean roots he runs a refreshment stand at the West Palm Beach Green Market, where he serves fresh coconut, tropical juices and Cruzan Rum cakes. Jamal sought opportunities to further develop his own creativity, so he opened up Ganache Bakery and Café in downtown West Palm Beach. His cakes are known to be the best in town.

Last year Jamal was approached by the Food Network to be on the Halloween Baking Championship – Season Four. For six weeks he wowed the judges and everyone watched as he created delicious and creative baked goods which led him to the Season Finale.

MATHAYOM VACHARAT

Owner and operator of both St. John Catering and the newly opened Lucky Chops Restaurant in Cruz Bay. Having moved to the islands one day before Hurricane Marilyn in 1995, Chef Mat has made St. John his home ever since

YVETTE ALI

Yvette Ali is a St. Croix-based culinary dilettante and storyteller who blogged and wrote restaurant reviews while living in Dubai. She makes food and culture the focus of her global travels sharing her worldly experiences through her lens and taste buds.

JESSICA CUYLER

 Host of Best Bites/Member – St. Croix Food and Wine Experience

JENNIFER MATARANGAS-KING

Jennifer Matarangas-King, Vice President of Public Relations and Governmental Affairs at Viya, Matarangas-King is the primary point of contact for all public relations, governmental affairs, charitable giving and community involvement for the premier telecommunications provider in the USVI.

TROY MILLINGTON

Proud Crucian/Food Enthusiast/Cook with 30+ years of Food & Beverage experience. 

NORMAN EDWARDS, JR., CPM

Mr. Edwards serves as the Administrator for the Public Defender Office and is currently the Treasurer for the Agriculture and Food Fair of the USVI.1996 alumnae of the University of the Virgin Islands with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration concentrating in Finance & Economics. 2019 ST. CROIX AGRICULTURAL FAIR FOOD WINNER

Dr. ARTHUR PETERSEN

Former Deputy Commissioner Dept. of Agriculture – Proud Crucian/Food Enthusiast/Cook