|Youth take on culinary adventure|
|Thursday, 19 July 2012 10:48|
Seventeen local youth recently took a journey to discover if they have what it takes to be a culinary genius.
The TCI Hospitality Adventure Summer Camp officially kicked off Sunday, July 15, welcoming an impressive number of participants for its first program in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The programme, a collaborative effort between the Department of Youth Affairs, the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association and several local resorts and restaurants, offered students the opportunity to fly under the wings of some of the top local chefs.
The Youth Department began its efforts to promote the culinary arts in 2008, when it sent its first student to culinary camps in the Bahamas. This year, in order to expand the opportunity to more local youth, they decided to host their own camp right here in Turks and Caicos.
“We have excellent chefs here, so why not do it here and allow them to learn from the talent we have right on our doorstep?” explained Youth Department Director Angela Musgrove.
Musgrove said the local chefs jumped at the opportunity to mentor the Lil’ Chefs and hit the ground running when it came to the planning. Chefs Eric Vernice and Thomas Musson of Beach House; Max Olivari of Caicos Cafe; Wolfgang von Wieser of Grace Bay Resorts; and Fritz Zwahlen of Amanyara worked together with Wendy Hill of the Chamber of Commerce and Jared Goldfarb of AIB to plan a full week of exciting learning experiences in the kitchen and beyond.
The students spent each day at a different resort learning everything from sanitation to shopping, the basics of cooking to modern cooking techniques such as molecular cooking.
Musgrove said they were thrilled with the number of youth who were interested in participating. It was far more than expected, she said.
“I want to ensure this is what I want to study,” Nia Jones, a recent graduate of the H.J. Robinson High School on Grand Turk, told the fp of her motivation for participating.
Wilkiens Martin said he hoped to pick up some recipes, as well as learning new food techniques, but most importantly he hoped to make his sponsors proud.
Several participants were supported in their efforts thanks to local business and individual. The Youth Department also organized a raffle, which allowed the students to raise money to pay for their participation through ticket sales.
Many of the students said they were looking forward to finding out more about the industry and seeing if it is a good fit for their them and their future.
Encouraging local youth to enter the field of culinary arts has been an ongoing effort by the Youth Department and members of the Hotel and Tourism Association. Musgrove said it is seeing the motivation in the young aspiring chefs that encourages the department and the organizing team to continue with the program.
“In fact, our first year student is now working as a chef in one of the local restaurants,” said Musgrove, who is extremely proud and hopes to see more of in the future.
The week-long festivities will culminate July 22 with a cook-off at the new Beach House resort on Grace Bay, where the Lil’ Chefs will have the chance to prepare items for their mentors and see who has what it takes to cut it in the culinary world.
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