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.