#Providenciales, July 13, 2018 – Turks and Caicos – The Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association’s Hospitality Adventure kicked off their exciting summer camps this week with a group of aspiring junior chefs from across the islands.
Enthusiastic youngsters are being given the opportunity to sharpen their culinary skills, learning the basics of the profession in two camps this year. The first camp, which began on Monday, July 9th and will run through Friday, July 13th, welcomed the first group; the Jr. Lit’l Chefs. This program is specifically designed for students between the ages of 12-14 and will serve as an introductory course with hopes to garner more interest in the field.
The second camp, which is the advanced segment of the program, is set to start on July 22nd and will welcome young cooks between the ages of 15-19 for an in-depth look into the culinary field, as well as offer one-on-one coaching and a sleep-in camp experience. Each week will culminate with a Mystery Black-Box Competition where one winner from the residential camp ages 15 – 19 will join the TCI Culinary Team making him/her eligible to compete with the team at the CHTA Taste of The Caribbean in Miami, June 2019.
CEO of the Turks and Caicos Hotel & Tourism Association [TCHTA], Stacy Cox, commented on the kids’ excitement to be a part of these programs, “The level of enthusiasm and passion showcased this week is not only inspirational, but aspirational. We aim to spark interest and develop talents that will turn into a lifelong passionate career, and our goal is to provide programs and activities that lead to complete development and empowerment of our country’s talented youth.”
The eager group of nearly 20 students that comprise both camps have all shown keen interest in pursuing a career in the culinary field. During the programs they will be hosted and mentored at several TCHTA member hotels and restaurants on Providenciales.
“Our Culinary Camp is instrumental in the development of younger chefs; as the country grows so too does our tourism product and the demand for local trained chefs. Both camps allow budding chefs to sharpen their culinary skills while being mentored by some of the best in the culinary field in Providenciales.” She continued, “We are grateful to those who give their time to mentor and teach so that the students can enhance their skills, we thank all of the chefs involved for their passion and their continuous hard work year after year with this program and we especially thank our members for their continuous support.”
This year, TCHTA members including Seven Stars Resort, Beaches Turks & Caicos, The Palms, Amanyara, IGA, The Source Villas, Bianca Sands Resort, Parrot Cay and Grace Bay Club have come together to teach the youngsters basic cooking methods, plating techniques, butchery, baking, the basics of stocks and sauces, as well as how to write menus. Safety and sanitation are also a big part of their training. Campers received a full kit to get them on their culinary journey; a formal Chef’s jacket, apron, t-shirts, hat, peeler, paring knife, bread knife, chef knife, boning knife, thermometer, kitchen towel and duffle bag.
“TCI Hospitality Adventure is the springboard for the Turks and Caicos Culinary Team and by extension Taste of the Caribbean,” Cox noted. “We had so many success stories from the culinary camp since its start in 2012; many of our former Lit’l Chefs are now part of the culinary departments at our member hotels or are in university, Chefs such as Martin Wilkiens, Robinangel Simmons, Korea Rolle, Kentisha Hall and Christin Greene and bartender Jean Tissaint, just to name a few, are successful alumni of the program and have competed in several international competitions representing the TCI.”
TCI Hospitality Adventure program has long been supported by members of the TCHTA. The organization has hosted three major annual fundraising events to help finance the initiative; the annual Taste of Tapas, Chefs on the Beach and the Golf Scramble assist the TCHTA with covering expenses of the camp, continued development, and the cost associated with travel to competitions. They are inviting members of the community to graciously support these fundraisers. Persons are encouraged to buy tickets to the upcoming Chefs on the Beach which is scheduled for Friday July 20, 2017 at the West Deck at the Seven Stars Resort in Grace Bay.
For more information about the upcoming event, interested persons and organizations are encouraged to call the TCHTA office on 339-5787 or visit their social media pages.