November Showcased Big Talent from Territory’s Youth

11 Dec 2015
November Showcased Big Talent from Territory’s Youth

Tortola, British Virgin Islands, December 11, 2015 – A rise in culinary tourism in the British Virgin
Islands has opened doors for more students to express an interest in careers as chefs, hoteliers, restaurateurs
and service providers, as well as many other interesting career paths within the tourism industry.
During BVI Food Fete in November, a total of 122 students participated in a wide variety of culinary and hospitality events, which exposed them to the diverse options that are available to them locally and abroad.

Students from the Territory’s secondary schools and H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) showcased their skills in the Junior Chef competitions and Janice Blyden Table Setting challenges that were held on Peter Island and Virgin Gorda over the course of two weekends (November 1st and 8th); from November 24th to 27th students worked alongside visiting chef and culinary instructor Roshni Gurnani from Houston, Texas and Jill Grimley from Boston, Massachusetts who demonstrated cooking techniques, creative methods for plating dishes, how to select and season cuts of meat, how to make purées from scratch, and how to deconstruct freshly caught fish with the help of local fisherman Jordan Romney.

“Youth in the British Virgin Islands continue to prove that age has no boundaries when it comes to developing one’s passions in life. The Tourist Board was honoured to see our young men and women in the BVI learning how to further their culinary skills, sharpen their presentation skills and direct their attention in an area that is burgeoning worldwide. Through the workshops, demonstrations, and competitions, the students were able to build their confidence while gaining an understanding of the broader scope of culinary, tourism and hospitality which stretches beyond our region. We applaud our young people and look forward to their contribution in our tourism sector,” said Sharon Flax-Mars, Director of Tourism.

On November 1st, Peter Island hosted the inaugural Tortola Junior Chef competition, which featured Elmore Stoutt High School students Shelomoih Stoutt capturing first place and Romario Gordon placing second. Kierra John emerged as the winner of the Tortola leg of the Janice Blyden Table Setting Challenge with schoolmate Akeema Jupiter earning second place; both students represented the Virgin Islands School of Technical Studies with Amelie Clark of Cedar School taking third place.

On November 8th, Rosewood Little Dix Bay hosted the Virgin Gorda leg of the events. De-Ashi George won the Table Setting competition with J’Sally O’Neil taking second place followed by a three-way tie for third place between T’Keyah Richardson, Jakeya Fergus, and Anika Christopher

Prior to the competition the students who competed from Tortola were trained for one week at Peter Island Resort & Spa and the students on Virgin Gorda were trained for one week at Rosewood Little Dix Bay. These hands-on educational experiences led to employment opportunities in the BVI. During Anegada Lobster Festival two students from the table setting competition were hired by Anegada Beach Club and throughout the Christmas season four students will work at Rosewood Little Dix Bay; two students will work
at Saba Rock; and one student will work at Fischer’s Cove with each student having competed in the Table Setting Competition that was held on Virgin Gorda. Peter Island Resort & Spa also offered holiday employment to the top three table setting winners from the Tortola competition.

In addition to the culinary education workshops, the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board also provides tourism education programmes throughout the year to foster interactive training outside of the classroom.