SLHTA TEF hits Green Gold with Helen’s Daughters!

Great meeting with Helen’s Daughters and Green Gold representatives Kiethlin Caroo and Aaron Afrifa to discuss collaboration with our Virtual Agricultural Clearing House (VACH). SLHTA stays the course to build stronger linkages between farmers and tourism. We are excited about the possibility of improved trade for our farmers with hotels via this partnership and the genesis of a Rural Women’s Academy.

The current food import bill of St. Lucia is valued at $350 million. Of this, it is estimated that $10-15 million dollars’ worth of this can be grown locally and bought by hotels at a lower price than when imported. Furthermore, with 1.1 million visitors to our shores in 2018 and one-third of all visitor expenditure spent on food, there is substantial market for locally grown crops.

The Green Gold team promises to leverage technology to fill in the gaps in the agricultural food tourism system to spur targeted agricultural supply by farmers using four components: Online Produce Marketplace, Farm Support, Distribution Centre and Delivery.

TEF Sponsors another Cycle of Maritime Training for Young Saint Lucians

The Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) continues to invest in the young people of Saint Lucia through the recent injection of EC$35,000.00 into maritime training. Each sailing course, which has been successfully run for a number of years, provides an intensive training course for 10 unemployed youth from across the island where they are engaged in an intensive sailing, soft skills training and personal development program. 

The Jus’ Sail youth sailing program continues to benefit from TEF financing due to the positive impact it has had on the lives of the young persons who have successfully completed the program over the last few years. The program has provided a number of employment opportunities for its graduates who have been able to succeed in the local maritime sector. The TEF’s commitment to this program is in keeping with one of the key mandates of the Fund which is human resource development. Supporting our youth and their development is one of the many positive outcomes of making a voluntary contribution or becoming a friend of the TEF.

Tourism Enhancement Fund Makes Good on its Commitment to Distribute 200 Wheelchairs Island Wide

The Tourism Enhancement Fund last year provided funding of EC$120,000.00 to the Rotary Club of Saint Lucia to facilitate the importation of wheelchairs to the island. This week marked an auspicious occasion as this venture between two private sector entities came to fruition, with the presentation of over 200 wheelchairs to be distributed island wide. 

The wheelchairs will create greater independence for persons with disabilities by improving their mobility and enhancing their overall quality of life.

This project would not have been possible without the support of the establishments participating in the Tourism Enhancement Fund and the voluntary contribution from guests of US$2 per room night to the fund. This voluntary contribution enables the TEF to support projects of this magnitude. If you are interested in being part of this exciting initiative please donate US$2 for each night of your stay at Resorts here in Saint Lucia or become a partner/friend of the TEF. For more information contact Ms. Donette Ismael TEF Programme Manager at 758-453-1811.

Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary School Retains SLHTA Chefs in Schools Cook Off Championship Title 2019

Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary retains the SLHTA Chefs in Schools Championship title for yet another year. The Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association Inc would like to congratulate the Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary School on winning the Chefs in Schools Cook Off 2019. In 2nd place was the St Joseph’s Convent team made up of Janaii Williams and Kurres Joseph, trained by Chef Nissa Paul of Windjammer landing Villa Beach Resort. And in 3rd Place was Merkijay Jean and Wavimey Prosper of the Leon Hess Secondary School and trained by Chef Billy Mauricette of Cap Maison.

The two students competing for Soufriere Comprehensive were Sherquean Franky and Kayla Joseph, both form 4 students. The team put on a great show in both the Signature Dish and Basket Rounds at the recently held competition on their home grounds at the Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary School on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th June 2019.

The Soufriere team were trained and coached by Chef Ruben Kumar of Anse Chastanet Resort over the past 2 months in preparation for the competition. Kayla and Sherquean along with their Chef and teacher will travel to Barbados to represent Saint Lucia at the Regional Caribbean Junior Dueling Challenge come August this year. Their training will continue over the summer in preparation for the regional leg of the Culinary Competition.

The Competition was proudly sponsored by the Tourism Enhancement Fund, Winfresh Limited, Diamonds International and TransCaribbean.

The Tourism Enhancement Fund Celebrates the Success of two aspiring Junior Chefs

Two young St. Lucians have won the 2018 Caribbean Junior Duelling Challenge, one of the Caribbean’s biggest and most prestigious culinary competitions.

Karina Abraham and Cheyenne Hippolyte, students of the Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary School represented St. Lucia in the competition and delivered a spectacular performance that ultimately won the hearts of the judges and earned them high praise from the audience and other participants in the event.

Prior to their victory in Barbados, Karina and Cheyenne had been crowned champions in the final leg of the 2018 Chefs in Schools Competition sponsored by the SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund, which was held June 15 at the Ciceron Secondary School. This qualified them to represent their country at the Caribbean Junior Duelling Challenge which was held August 14 – 19 at the Culinary Arena, Newton Industrial Estate Christ Church, Barbados.

The competition was the highlight of the Caribbean Junior Culinary Conference (CJCC), a seven-day event which also featured workshops and presentations on culinary techniques by respected industry professionals. Junior teams from seven Caribbean islands participated in this year’s competition, including the Cayman Islands, Trinidad & Tobago, Dominica, Grenada, St. Croix, Barbados and St. Lucia.

St. Lucia’s dynamic duo came away with the Caribbean Junior Duelling Challenge trophy, thereby making them the overall winners of the competition. They also captured gold medals in the first two rounds, which required the teams to cook and present a national dish in the first round and a dish from a mystery basket in the second round.

After the first two rounds, three teams went on to compete in the finals, which included cooking a dish from another mystery basket. All dishes were judged on technical skills, presentation, taste and texture, cooking techniques and innovation.

The St. Lucian team’s winning dish in the final round was macaroni and corned beef wrapped in blanched cabbage leaf with fried potato, mango, carrot and corned puree, coupled with stewed chicken wings coated in chocolate biscuit and deep fried, plus grilled shrimp and pan-roasted pork with a drizzle of spicy sauce. The two victors were accompanied by their culinary arts teacher, Nashanka Henry and the SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund Projects Coordinator, Wendel George during their stay in Barbados.

On their return to St. Lucia on Monday (August 20) Karina and Cheyenne received a heroine’s welcome from the St. Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association. The SLHTA hosted a reception in their honour at the Bay Gardens Beach Resort where they were showered with accolades and commendations by representatives of the association and other industry stakeholders.

The reception turned out to be a joyous occasion for the two young culinary stars who both expressed their delight at winning the Junior Duelling Challenge, and the pride they felt at being able to represent St Lucia at the competition. They said they gave it their all and feel very satisfied with their performance and the results.

“The competition was very exciting and challenging but we overcame the pressure and we brought the gold home. We’re very proud,” said Karina. “We performed exceptionally well and we were consistent. We set standards for ourselves and we were able to rise to those standards in every round of the competition,” she added.

Tourism Enhancement Fund Projects Coordinator, Wendel George praised the two young chefs for their winning performance, and also lauded Anse Chastanet’s chef de cuisine, Frank Faucher  who served as their coach during the preparatory stages of both the SLHTA Chefs in Schools Completion and the Caribbean Junior Duelling Challenge.

“The team put on a really good fight and I was extremely impressed with the way they were able to compose themselves and present their dishes in the way they did, in that they were very consistent,” said Wendel. “As an association we’re very happy with their performance. We’re also delighted that so many companies and association members supported the initiative. Anse Chastanet, for example, has always been supporting the Chefs in Schools program from its inception. They have always provided a chef to coach the students, and they have always performed exceptionally at those events.” he added.

In addition to the St. Lucia team’s glorious win, the SLHTA has been invited to host the Caribbean Junior Duelling Challenge in 2019. Wendel says the association welcomes the opportunity to host the event and believes it will provide tremendous benefits to the local tourism and hospitality industry and St. Lucia as a whole.

“It is going to be very beneficial to the hoteliers, the local vendors and the St. Lucian people in general. We’re going to have teams from seven or eight islands coming to St. Lucia to participate in what has become a major culinary event in the Caribbean. A wide range of businesses, including local food and beverage suppliers, restaurants and shopping malls will benefit as a result of the competition being held in St. Lucia. We believe that this is the time for us to take this amazing competition to another level and really push the culinary arts in St Lucia. Public interest in culinary arts is really picking up, especially among the youths, and people are always looking forward to the competitions. More students are becoming aware of the culinary arts and increasingly they want to take it up academically and participate in the SLHTA Chefs in Schools program. This means that the SLHTA now has an even bigger responsibility to really push that agenda on the heels of all the awards that we’ve already won,” said Wendel.

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

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.

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