Elton Sprauve, owner and bartender at Virgin Gorda’s Mine Shaft Restaurant, beat a field of seven other contenders for the single spot of bartender on the British Virgin Islands 2010 Culinary Team.

Sprauve received some hospitality training in the United States, but always had a dream of coming back to his home island of Virgin Gorda. ‘I have worked all over in the United States but my goal was to always come home and establish a good product. At the Mine Shaft, we want to stay involved, we want to make it work for the betterment of tourism and the BVI. I believe that the BVI has a good tourism product and we just need to stay involved to make it work.’

Dr. Birney Harrigan described Sprauve’s efforts: ‘His performance was outstanding. He is very charismatic and he loves to entertain obviously and bartending seems to be an art of his.’

There were two rounds of competition before the winner was finally selected. Contenders were judged on their mixture of three drinks, a non-alcoholic drink, a rum drink and a vodka drink. Additionally, they were judged on presentation, creativity and showmanship.

Dates for the pastry and cooking chefs’ competition will be announced in the coming weeks. The competitions are organised by the BVICCHA (BVI Chamber of Commerce & Hotel Assn) with support from the BVI Tourist Board. Sponsorship for the bartender’s competition came from Road Town Wholesale. Once selected, the BVI Culinary Team will travel to the annual Taste of the Caribbean Competition and participate in local and regional culinary events.