But for the most part, originality remained the credo of the evening and the weekend. As a result, I chowed on everything from sugarcane-speared shrimp to shredded lamb tongue preserved in aspic, served in a soup spoon over tropical slaw. Yes, even in the Bahamas some weirdness achieves greatness -- the latter dish helped the British Colonial Hotel take first place at the cocktail reception.
As far as presenting New Bahamian cuisine to the rest of the world, the medal winners of the Culinary Classic, such as the College of the Bahamas and the Radisson Cable Beach Resort, will have the opportunity to do just that at international culinary competitions. The playing fields include the Culinary Olympics. Chef John Kinsella, coach of the 2004 Bahamian team, summed it up at the conclusion of the ceremonies: "We've got the cooks. We've got the chefs. Now we've just gotta get there." Likewise, I might add, for those South Florida food professionals and diners who still remember the Bahamas as bastion of the conch pizza.