The seed for the program was planted in 2008 by Dekkel Simmons who expressed a keen interest in attending the Summer Training in the Bahamas. His drive and determination got him the support from the Department of Youth Affairs under the direction of Mrs Angela Musgrove, to attend the Camp further motivating him to pursue a career in the Culinary Arts field.
Dialogue with Ms Stacy Cox, GM Windsong Resort and a member of the Directors Board for the Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association, ignited further interest in developing a youth program specifically designed to create interest in the hospitality and tourism sector. Sending a larger delegation to participate in the Little Chefs Summer training at the College of the Bahamas in Nassau in the summer of 2010 seemed like a perfect way to start. The nominated students worked tirelessly raising funds to ensure that this become a reality for them. The Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association, under the Chair of Mr Caesar Campbell, supported the program idea. A delegation of six students and one chaperone was able to attend the Summer Training in July 2010.
Upon their return local hotel, The Veranda and Beaches Resort & Spa were more than pleased to accommodate the Little Chefs at their resort for 2-3 weeks work experience.
Mike Hryniuk, GM at Northwest Point Resort, expressed interest in the program and began working on getting the Little Chefs an international experience thus sustaining their interest in the field. Phase 2 of Little Chefs TCI was borne.
Given the importance of the hotel and tourism industry to the economy of the Turks & Caicos Islands it would be a tremendous boost to the industry to increase awareness and foster a greater appreciation among TCI students for the culinary arts profession. Littlel Chefs TCI aims to take on this challenge.
The partnership with corporate entities is critical to the success and sustainability of the programme. As they will provide the resources to nurture the talent as the participants make that transition from the classroom to the kitchen.
Sponsorship of individual students in program.
Mentorship through apprentice of students.
Support for hosting of a culinary exhibition to display skill and creativity of students.
Technical and financial support for the development of a similar program in the Turks & Caicos.
Through the support of the individual sponsors within the TCI on this proposed initiative, we will be able to build a cadre of skills in the culinary arts profession thereby promoting growth within the industry and simultaneously contributing towards the development of our nations youth.
FOSTERING A CULINARY CULTURE
The vision of the Lit'l Chefs TCI is to build a cadre of skills in the culinary arts profession thereby promoting growth within the industry and simultaneously contributing towards the development of our nations youth.
One challenge within the local economy is the creation of employment opportunities for young people. The Lit'l Chefs program will give participants and insight into the skills needed to absorb themselves into the private sector employment.
The program has as its objectives to:
Encourage students to choose culinary arts as a profession.
Allow students to become familiar and comfortable with a commercial kitchen and its equipment.
Promote growth in the culinary arts profession with special attention to the tenets of modern culinary development , ability, practical nutrition, workmanship, economy, presentation, creativity and concept.
Nurture the creativity of individual participants Provide a showcase for individual skills techniques and styles Provide examples and inspiration for young or beginning professionals.
The vision for the Lit'l chefs TCI must be embraced by all who contribute to partake in the legacy for youth development within these islands.