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St. Maarten's Paul Peterson Wins 'Bartender Of The Year' At CHTA 'Taste Of The Caribbean'

St. Maarten Culinary Team Honored with "Best Use of Orchid Chocolate"

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PHILIPSBURG, ST. MAARTEN (July 7, 2009) – St. Maarten's Paul Peterson was named "Bartender of the Year" at the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) “Taste of the Caribbean,” held recently in Puerto Rico, thus becoming the first two time honoree. Peterson took home the award first time in 2005 during the island’s first year participating in the competition.

Peterson is a seasoned bartender at the popular, high-end St. Maarten restaurant, Temptation, where he has been working for seven years.

In addition, St. Maarten pastry chef, Mickael Geffroy of Le Pressoir, impressed the judges with an outstanding dessert of chocolate mousse stuffed with lemongrass, carrots and orange jam earning the team the award for “Best Use of Orchid Chocolate.” All of this further cements the island’s reputation as the “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean”.

In the preliminary bartending competition, Peterson produced three different cocktails – a rum based drink called the “Tropical Anti-Depression,” a non-alcoholic beverage titled “Pina Chocolada” and a vodka cocktail named “Guayabera” – earning him enough points to place him in the finals.

As a finalist, he was given a mystery bar and 20 minutes to create an original cocktail recipe with only seven minutes to prepare and garnish the drink. Peterson’s unique cocktail titled “Soualiga Sling,” which consisted of watermelon juice, peach rum, coconut rum, fresh lime and fresh passion fruit, earned him the title “Bartender of the Year.”

For Paul Peterson’s “Bartender of the Year” award winning recipes, visit

St. Maarten

St. Maarten is truly a unique island in several ways. It is the smallest island in the world to be shared by two nations, the Netherlands and France, creating a European-influenced vibe with a Caribbean flair. St. Maarten is also the culinary capital of the Caribbean with an eclectic array of elegantly-perfected culinary fusion that keeps “food lovers” returning each year. And with more than 300 restaurants, the island has something for everyone.

Located at the northern end of the Lesser Antilles, the island has 37 breathtaking beaches and is home to many historical and family-oriented attractions including the vastly abundant treasure of rare animal and plant species at the St. Maarten Zoological and Botanical Garden. The historically-pivotal Fort Amsterdam, the St. Maarten Museum and the picturesque and symbolic Mount Concordia, where a treaty and harmonious peace was forged between the island’s two cultures more then 350 years ago, provide other unique attractions.

The Dutch capital of Philipsburg offers duty-free shopping and a bustling city atmosphere in the heart of the Caribbean, while nightlife activities provide endless entertainment at the island’s 14 casinos and numerous nightclubs. For water enthusiasts scuba diving and snorkeling facilities are located throughout the island, which boasts a wide array of marine biodiversity and unique underwater dive sites such as the H.M.S. Proselyte, a notable British frigate which sank in St. Maarten’s waters in 1801.

Accommodations are varied with many designed to exceed the expectations of even the most discerning traveler and include elegant private villas, family oriented resorts, quaint cottages and luxury spa resorts. Air service is available to Princess Juliana International Airport in St. Maarten from a number of U.S. and Canadian cities as well as Europe, South America and the Caribbean.