Eat them to Beat Them!

Over 20 Senior Chefs, Butchers, Purchasing Managers and Distributors from SLHTA member companies received hands on training this week on the safe handling of Lionfish and its preparation. Lionfish is an invasive species in Saint Lucia and the population has exploded in recent years. The Lionfish is a voracious predator of juvenile fishes and poses a serious threat to the future of our coral reefs and the livelihoods of many fishing villages and families.
The tourism industry continues to play its part in helping to promote incorporation of Lionfish on local menus. For international visitors, Lionfish is a delicacy and fast becoming a part of the unique experience of our island. Encouraging consumption of Lionfish will not only help coral reefs to recover, but also support the livelihoods of local fishers.
The Tourism Enhancement Fund financed the training workshop which was hosted by the SLHTA in collaboration with The Travel Foundation, Clear Caribbean, the Department of Fisheries and Royalton St. Lucia Resort and Spa on Thursday, 14th June, 2018.

TEF Hires Project Consultant

The Board of Trustees of the Tourism Enhancement Fund is pleased to announce the engagement of Mr. Noorani M. Azeez as the Project Consultant to the TEF effective 5th June 2018 – 4thSeptember 2018. During this period the Consultant will conduct an aggressive engagement of Fund contributors to ascertain priority areas to which funding should be targeted over the coming years. Since its conception in 2013, the Tourism Enhancement Fund has allocated millions of dollars towards human resources development, community enhancement and bridging linkages between tourism and the agricultural sector. As the Fund seeks to formalize its presence and expand its network of collaboration with international partners, it has become critical that key thematic areas for support be identified. If you have any ideas of projects which you would like to see funded please email us at grants@stluciatef.com

SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund donates to Kids Insight Project

Gros Islet, Saint Lucia – 20th June 2018 – The SLHTA Tourism Enhancement Fund has donated Ten Thousand dollars towards off setting the cost of surgeries and medical attention for kids struggling with vision problems.  The donation was made to the Kids In Sight program which has been operating in Saint Lucia for the past 15 years. The Kids In Sight is a joint project of the Saint Lucia Blind Welfare Association, the Lions Clubs of Gros Islet and West Virginia Eye Institute.

Each year, the Lion’s Club of Gros Islet, through its Charity Golf Tournament, collaborates with other business houses to raise funding to address the vision needs of children.  The West Virginia Eye Institute provides paediatric eye surgeons and specialists who visit Saint Lucia annually to treat kids with sight disabilities who otherwise cannot afford to pay for such medical attention.

This year, the Lion’s Club of Gros Islet successfully engage the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) with a view to making a direct donation towards the project.  The President of the Lion’s Club of Gros Islet Mr. Lester Charles commented earlier that “This donation helps the Lions Club of Gros Islet to significantly expand its network of partners to increase financial resources to support this and other philanthropic initiatives.  We welcome the support from the Tourism Enhancement Fund and look forward to ensuring that as many kids as possible benefit from the medical attention they so critically need.”  Kids in Sight offers a comprehensive approach to paediatric eye problems, including surgical, medical, educational and rehabilitation needs.

About the TEF:  The Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), established on 1st October 2013, is a voluntary fund set up by the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association Inc. The TEF was proposed by the SLHTA Secretariat as a means of allowing the members of the SLHTA greater control of its own pool of financial resources to allow the SLHTA to play an integral part in the sustainable development of our destination and make greater contributions towards community development initiatives in rural areas and support efforts to preserve our environment and expose other stakeholders to environmentally sustainable tourism practices. The TEF also focuses on education and hands-on training initiatives for our young people to give them a better chance of finding employment in our industry. It also spearheads programs for the workforce to achieve higher standards to be able to strengthen our island’s presence in an ever more competitive international tourism marketplace.

Congratulations to Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary School on yet another victory in the Chefs in Schools Cook Off 2018

Food Delivery !

Aspiring chefs from some of the island`s secondary schools compete today for top culinary awards.

Posted by Dbstvstlucia on Monday, June 18, 2018

(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary has been crowned champions

in the 2018 SLHTA Chefs in Schools Cook-Off Competition (CISCO 2018).

Karina Abraham and Cheyenne Hippolyte were declared the winning team in a keenly contested challenge that took place Friday (June 15) at the Ciceron Secondary School, the defending champions.

The Entrepot Secondary team of Norma Bernard and Kourtney Mohammed clinched second place, followed by Tanicka Ettienne and Julian Henry of Micoud Secondary who placed third.

The victorious Soufriere team was coached by Chef Frank Faucher of Anse Chastenet Resort.

Chef Edna Butcher of Cap Maison and Chef Clayton Julien of Sandals Regency La Toc trained the Entrepot Secondary and Micoud secondary teams respectively.

The competition judges were Chef Nicodemus Joseph of Bay Gardens Resorts, Chef Niguel Gerald and Refer Leonce of Sandals Resorts and Chef Orlando Satchell of Orlando’s Restaurant & Bar.

The Chefs in Schools Cook-Off Competition is organised annually by the St. Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association and funded by the SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund.

This year’s competition kicked off on a high note. Supporters from the participating schools turned up to cheer on their respective teams and excitement was running high all throughout the event.

Each team was given an hour to prepare a National/Signature Dish. After the first round, the scores were tallied and the three teams with the highest scores proceeded to battle it out in the second round – the Mystery Basket challenge – for the championship title. They had ninety minutes to prepare their dishes.

The winning duo will now go on to represent St. Lucia at the upcoming Caribbean Junior Duelling Competition in Barbados slated for August 13th to 20th 2018.

12 students from six secondary schools took part in the competition, Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary, Micoud Secondary, Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary, Ciceron Secondary, Entrepot Secondary and Castries Comprehensive Secondary.

The Chefs in Schools Cook-Off Competition is the culmination of a year-long internship involving local hotel chefs and the participating students who are enrolled in the secondary schools’ food and nutrition program. The chefs provide them with hands-on training and mentorship to help them sharpen their culinary skills. Each team is adopted by a hotel in close proximity to their school. The SLHTA coordinates the mentorship program.

Tourism Enhancement Fund Projects Coordinator, Wendel George hailed this year’s competition as one of the best yet and praised the junior chefs for their talent and dedication.

“The teams came out really strong this year. The presentations and techniques were fantastic. Kudos to the chefs who trained them and the hotels that sponsored the students and gave them the opportunity to get exposure in the industry at such a young age.

“I’d also like to say thank you to all the sponsors for investing in our youth because this goes a long way in terms of developing the next generation of up-and-coming chefs. The Tourism Enhancement Fund and the SLHTA remain firmly committed to nurturing local talent. This is crucial to the development of our industry, that’s why wherever we discover this talent, especially among young people, we’re always eager to support them, and look forward to great things from them.”

The competition was sponsored by CPJ St Lucia Ltd, RJB Hotel Supplies, Bank of St. Lucia, Courts St Lucia Ltd and the Tourism Enhancement Fund.

TEF Projects Coordinator catches up with some of the past Junior Culinary Arts Ambassadors and TEF Grant Beneficiaries

When Saint Lucians hear the name ‘SLHTA’ it is usually synonymous with Hotels, Chefs and/or Food and for good reason because the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association has been associated with Culinary Arts development for well over a decade.

Since the establishment of the Tourism Enhancement Fund in 2013, several grants have been awarded to various groups and entities directly or indirectly associated with the industry. Over the past 4 years, the Fund has contributed over $50,000 towards the participation of Junior Culinary Teams at the Caribbean Junior Dueling Challenge held in Barbados annually.

The Junior Culinary Team has always represented the island very well at the Competition and the SLHTA is extremely proud of their achievements. A few years later, we were able to catch up with a few of them who are doing great things.

From our 2014 Culinary Team, Yohance Cazaubon from Soufriere has ventured into his own business offering delivery services to locals. YJC Deliveries is an errand running and same day delivery service based in Saint Lucia. This service was designed to assist busy individuals living on island.

From the 2015 Culinary Team, Nicola Esnard also a former student at the Soufriere Comprehensive is now gainfully employed with a SLHTA Member property, Hotel Chocolat in Soufriere.  Boucan by Hotel Chocolat is a tropical retreat on St Lucia’s oldest cocoa estate located 1000 feet above sea level in a Unesco World Heritage Site.

From the 2016 Culinary Team, the dynamic duo affectionately known as DoubleM. Michaela Poleon and Megan Felicien, former students of the Ciceron Secondary School. Micheala has decided to continue her studies in Food and Beverage at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, a programme which will take two years to complete full time. While Megan continued to work as an apprentice cook, until she was offered a job at the newly opened Royalton Saint Lucia Resort at Cap Estate.

And from the 2017 Junior Culinary Team we have Brittney Henry who was a former student at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community. Her coach Chef Billy Boyle of Capella Marigot Bay was so impressed with her spirit, personality and the effort she puts into her work that he decided to offer a full time position with Capella, two months after the Barbados competition.

The Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association Inc. is extremely proud of the achievements of all our past Junior Chefs. Most of them have pursued careers in Culinary Arts and are a living testament of passion, commitment and drive. Through the Tourism Enhancement, we will continue to fuel the passions of our young people to guarantee a  sustainable Tourism Product.

A Good Food Revolution Project brought to you in part by the SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund, to a tune of $40,000.00

The Good Food Revolution Project – a call to action to farmers, retailers and consumers to “grow, buy, consume organic” – is a partnership between RISE, the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology (MSDEST) and the Ministry of Agriculture, funded in part by the SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), UNDP Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme, and launched during Nobel Laureate week in January.

The project which seeks to create a national environment that promotes healthy food consumption, revolutionizing food production by removing toxic chemicals and harmful GMOs from the Saint Lucian Food Chain, through a 3-pronged approach: consumer awareness-raising and education, farmer training and national policy development, enters a new phase of farmer training which has attracted further support from partners such as the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).

On May 3rd 2016 a group of 40 farmers began a journey together, facilitated by Good Food Revolution consultants Damian Adjodha, Thaddeus Constantine and Johanan Dujon, to revolutionize the way food is produced in St. Lucia. The focus of the training created an understanding of a farm as a living ecosystem that produces food:  Agro-ecosystem.

The first block of training took place over 3 months with sessions designed to train growers in advanced organic practical techniques following a ‘field-school’ format.

 To obtain the certificate of completion, participants started their own organic test plot, documenting the entire process.

The workshop introduced farmers to the organic certification process, to regional and international standards, and to organic Business Plan development.

Participants received hundreds of dollars in organic farming supplies and tools, and a 3- part manual as incentive for successfully participating in the program.  

A Very Successful Pan Tuning Workshop for young people

The Training, Promotion & Development Department of the Cultural Development Foundation (CDF) hosted a Pan Tuning Workshop which was generously funded by the SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund. The two week long training workshop was held from August 10th to 21st, 2015, from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm each day at the Courts Babonneau Pan Yard in Grande Riviere, Gros Islet.

The Pan Tuning Workshop provided practical skills and valuable knowledge as a strategy to actively build our base of skilled leaders and Steel Pan professionals in Saint Lucia.

 

According to the CDF, “The training and development aspect of Steel Pan is almost as important as the entertainment itself. By taking an integrated approach to ensure a long-term future for quality steel pan music, the Steel Pan Groups can look forward to notable successes in the future.”

The Pan Tuning Workshop was facilitated by Mr. Gabriel Robley of Trinidad. Gabriel has an education in advanced steel pan Tuning. He has experience as a pan tuner in Trinidad, Grenada, Cayman Islands, and Jamaica and is also a Pan Educator who conducts workshops in history and playing of steel pan instruments.

About Pan Tuning:

Tuning a pan or set of pans is a complex process that takes many hours of work, generally spread over a period of at least two days. The first step is to obtain 55 gallon barrels. Pan instruments vary in terms of the number of barrels required, the number of notes on the playing surface, the depth of this surface when hammered into a concave shape, and the length of the “skirt” (the sides of the pan).

Though each pan instrument has its unique features, the basic tuning principles are the same. Once obtained, the barrel is turned upside down, with the top resting on the ground. The bottom of the pan is sunk inward. Once the surface has begun to assume a concave shape, a pencil and ruler are used to make some preliminary markings of individual sections, each of which will become a note.

The next step of the tuning process is to “groove” the individual note sections with a 24-ounce hammer and a nail punch with a blunted point. When all of the sections have been grooved, the pan is ready to be cut.

“This programme means a lot to me” – Jus Sail Youth Training Programme Participant

An initiative proudly sponsored by the SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund

Approximately 4 weeks into the theoretical part of their training, the students are already applauding the facilitators for what they say is a timely and relevant programme. The students hail from communities as far as Choiseul, Jacmel, Dennery Mabouya Valley, Castries and environs. According to Oswald Richard who is originally from the community of Choiseul “I found out about the programme on facebook, then I visited the website to find out more about the programme. So I filled out an application, sent it in then got accepted. Coming into this programme I got some new experiences. I would like to thank them for this opportunity. I think there should be more of these programmes to decrease the level of crime on island.”

The three tenets underlying the programme are – Training – Certification – Employment. The aim of the Jus’ Sail Youth Training Programme is to assist young St Lucians who have a commitment to improving their skills to find sustainable employment within the yachting or wider service and hospitality sectors. Jus’ Sail believes that sailing offers an unparalleled learning environment in transferable skills and personal development.

Marcus from La Clery admitted that “It’s an opportunity for us to better ourselves, as I like to learn new skills. Although I can swim, I was a bit afraid of the water, so I now trust the water. Through the training, I was able to learn how to swim the right way.”

The training programme schedule of activities includes:

  • First Aid and CPR certification;
  • Swim to Survive Certification with the St Lucia Lifesaving Association;
  • PADI Skin Diver Certificate (required to be a snorkel guide)
  • International Crew Certification with Jus’ Sail through their accredited sailing school with International Yacht Training Worldwide and preparation to take the SLASPA crew certificate required to work on charter vessels in St Lucia;
  • Customer service workshops;
  • Personal development workshops;
  • Conflict resolution and effective communications workshop;
  • Teambuilding and leadership development sailing sessions
  • And a minimum of two weeks work experience within a suitable workplace.

Gillia St Helair says “What really caught my attention is the FirstAid and Swimming. I cannot swim so I am hoping to master it. I have held many office positions before and realized that I prefer being outdoor and being active.”  At the completion of this programme successful participants will be assisted in reviewing their CV to seek gainful employment.

The Jus’ Sail’s facilitators are always eager to meet prospective students, getting them trained and watching them grow from strength to strength becoming successful and much-respected members of the teams in which they work across the marine and wider tourism sector.

The Tourism Enhancement Fund Projects Coordinator Wendel George stated that “I am very fond of this programme and would like to wish the students all the best throughout their training. Further, I think that the directors of the Jus Sail Training Programme James and Pepsi Crockett are doing an amazing job with these young persons that they are training. I am pretty sure that the programme will continue to grow and become popular with more young people indicating their interest in pursuing it.”

For more information on the Jus’ Sail Youth Training Programme and its activities please refer to the Youth Training Page on the Jus’ Sail Website where you can download an application form.

If you are a local business and would potentially be interested in recruiting a graduate from the programme into your team please contact programme director James Crockett by email: james@jussail.com

The SLHTA in Collaboration with the Tourism Enhancement Fund Spearheads healthy living

The Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) and the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) have partnered to use sports as the gate way to a healthier lifestyle. As the Voice of the Hospitality and Tourism Industry, the SLHTA believes that it is its responsibility to take such a bold thrust in the form of a Football Tournament. Strategically renamed the SLHTA’s Champions Cup, this prolific initiative is esteemed as exceptional by the Tourism Enhancement Fund and is seen as just the ingredient needed for the Tourism Sector to deliberately have a breakthrough in promoting and in formulating avenues to emphasize that a healthy life style is an integral component for the total well being of all stakeholders, employees and St. Lucians alike, while championing community development.
The TEF and the SLHTA have steadfast confidence in this Football Tournament because of its diverse functions that will result into positive growth for the secretariat’s membership. Needless to say the functions entail generating:
  • camaraderie that fuels networking among teams and company managers to ignite inter-company relationships.
  • increased physical activity in the lives of the participants as normal working hours may not be conducive for them to pursue recreation or sports which may be their passion.
  • The football games will also build team spirit corporation and sportsmanship that will trickle down into increase efficiency in the workplace and bettered communication between employees.
The tournament features sixteen 16 teams from our membership, tenaciously vying for this year’s cup.

1.      Sandals Regency La Toc,

2.      Sandals Grande St. Lucian,

3.      Marigot Bay Resort and Marina by Capella,

4.      The BodyHoliday Resort St. Lucia,

5.      Ladera Resort

6.      Ti Kaye Resort

7.      Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa

8.      Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa

9.      Windjammer Landings Villa Beach Resort and Spa

10.  Royalton St. Lucia

11.  Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort

12.  Anse Chastanet/Jade Mountain

13.  Royal by Rex Resort

14.  Lucelec

15.  Cap Maison Resort

16.  St. James Club Morgan Bay

The reasons we must keep investing in them – Our Culinarians

Watching these young aspiring chefs cook and seeing their skills unfold is fantastic and the best feeling in the world, because I know that we are helping to change the lives of not only these young chefs but the lives of their entire families and friends” says Wendel George, Tourism Enhancement Fund Projects Coordinator.
The Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) exclusively supported Megan Felicien and Brittney Henry while preparing for and during their representation of Saint Lucia at the Barbados Dueling Competition held in Barbados last week. One of the pillars that the SLHTA established the TEF on is Comprehensive Youth Development. Once again, this has come to materialize through the outstanding performance of seventeen year old Megan Felicien and twenty-one year old Brittney Henry. The SLHTA and the TEF are extremely proud to have invested in these leaders of tomorrow.
The work that the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) is associated with is phenomenal and is being praised at a national and regional level. The SLHTA has been making strides at a secondary school level, and has made major impacts on the way students view Tourism as well as Food and Beverage and Culinary Arts in Saint Lucia.
At the rate in which Tourism Industry is moving, the Association sees this as an opportunity to groom our youth to not only become our leaders but be better equipped to lead. This industry plays a major role in the Saint Lucian Economy and by extension the livelihood of the local populous.  Therefore the Association wants to nurture talent that will ensure sustainability of our Tourism Product.
The SLHTA established the Tourism Enhancement Fund in 2013, because it envisioned Tourism playing a more vital role in society along with the much needed development of the island sites and attractions and more importantly its people. From a $2.00 US per night voluntary contribution from guests, SLHTA has been able to invest at least two Million dollars in youth development initiatives, Apprenticeship Programs and the upgrading of various tourism products among others.
To this date, SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund has invested over EC$260,000 in the development of Culinary Arts in St Lucia since its establishment.
The SLHTA is confident that today’s’ investment in the arts will integrate well into the growth and sustainability of Saint Lucia’s Tourism Industry in the coming years. We extend sincere gratitude to the member companies who are committed to this fund and continue to encourage their guests to contribute.
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