TEF Sponsors NRDF Independence Cake Challenge

SLHTA/NRDF 2015 Cake Champion

National Research Development Foundation (NRDF) a nonprofit organization, along with Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) hosted its first “Independence Cake Challenge” on February 20th and 21st, as part of Independence 2015 activities, and under the esteemed patronage of the Honourable Prime Minister.

The event was officially launched at the Bay Gardens Hotel in Rodney Bay.

A cadre of six (6) competitors some coming from as far as Vieux Fort and Soufriere have been charged with the task of baking and then decorating an “Independence” themed cake, to serve 100 persons, within 6 hours.

The baking and decorating challenge will showcase pastry chefs from some of St Lucia’s best hotels and past Students of the NRDF’s cake decorating courses, as a start to what is intended to be an annual feature on the Independence calendar. SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund, the Title Sponsor, no newcomer to such events has been promoting the importance of Education and Tourism through various public awareness programmes and so it was a piece of cake for them to respond enthusiastically to collaborating with NRDF on this venture.

Hon Dr Kenny D Anthony, Prime Minister has put his stamp of approval on the event, as the patron and the winning cake will have the honour of being showcased at the Prime Minister’s Annual Independence Cocktail.

The challengers will be proving their skill and creativity to three judges and an audience comprising cake enthusiasts and other specially invited guests. Mr Ronald Charles, NRDF General Manager, says however, that the event is underpinned by a greater purpose.

He said, “the Cake Challenge is more than just a fun competition. It is in fact a far-reaching message couched in sweet artistry, as the NRDF and its partners collaborate on promoting the idea of transforming hobbies into trades, thereby creating sustainable livelihoods, whether cake, leather work, handmade bags and so on.”


The Competitors

o Ronald Estephane – Junior Pastry Chef, Coconut Bay Resort and Spa (2015 Winner)
o Davis Hippolyte – Junior Pastry Chef, Capella at Marigot Bay
o Susan Charlery – Junior Pastry Chef, Sugar Beach a Viceroy Resort
o Celine Stephen – Past NRDF Cake Décor student
o Albertha Nelson – Past NRDF Cake Décor student
o Talisa Decembre – Past NRDF Cake Décor Student


The following prizes were up for grabs:

  • 1st Prize
    o All expenses paid Internship at Johnson and Wales University Culinary Institute (Miami campus)
    o Showcased at the Prime Minister’s official annual Independence Cocktail
    • 2nd Prize
    o Internship at Jade Mountain St Lucia, to be taught by Jade’s pastry team lead by the Chief Judge himself, Chef Wouter Tjeertes
    • 3rd Prize
    o Cake Mixer

The esteemed panel of judges is:

  • Chef Wouter Tjeertes, Director of Pastry at Jade Mountain St Lucia
    • Chef Sherma Peter, Pastry Chef at Jade Mountain St Lucia and National Pastry Chef Champion
    • Sen Berthia Parle MBE, General Manager of Bay Gardens Beach Resort and Spa


  • Patron – Hon Kenny D Anthony, Prime Minister of St Lucia
    • Title Sponsor – SLHTA Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF)
    • Presenting Sponsors – Johnson and Wales University; Anse Chastanet & Jade Mountain
    • TV sponsor – Calabash TV
    • Gold sponsors – Baron Foods Ltd, Easter Caribbean Group of Companies (ECGC), Anchor Butter
    • Silver sponsors – Ministry of Youth Development and Sports; Pine Hill, Courts
    • Bronze sponsors – CFL Ltd/Mega J’s, Travel and Leisure Centre
    • Other sponsors – FICS Ltd, 1st National Bank, Sunshine Snacks, Savvy Caribbean Marketing, Sofia’s Cake Décor Store