Chefs in Schools Cook Off Competition a “Wonderful Experience” says Former Participant
 As the countdown to the 2018 SLHTA Chefs in Schools Cook-Off Competition begins, the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School (CCSS)culinary team is gearing up for the big day, along with the other teams in the competition.
Fortunately for them, they have a strong motivator cheering them on – the best kind any school team could wish for. Their teacher, Shiran Bernard (in photo above) participated in the very first competition, back in 2014.
Shiran was a guest of honour at at the preparatory workshop that was hosted by the SLHTA for this year’s competitors on Friday (May 18) at the SLHTA Hospitality Training Centre. 15 students are participating in the competition.
A former student of CCSS, Shiran studied culinary arts at Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, and later went on to work at Sandals Grande before becoming a teacher. She was given the opportunity to share her experience with the students.
She told them it was an “exciting and wonderful experience” for her and her teammates. “We gained a lot of experience going into the competition and working with the chefs. We bonded with them and the hotel staff and management – everyone who came to support us and pushed us to do the best that we could,” said Shiran.
She added, “I went into the completion very excited and made many visits to the St James Club Morgan Bay where I worked with a number of chefs, including the executive chef – Chef Fabian who was very skilled and had a knack for improving the flavours of food. My school ended up coming fourth but we weren’t disappointed at all. We gained a lot of experience.
Shiran spoke glowingly about the time she spent working at Sandals Grande. “I got the opportunity to work with both local and international chefs and gained a lot of experience and knowledge. I worked in almost all of the kitchens on the property.”
Not only did she enjoy the experience, Shiran admired the chefs whom she described as talented and ‘very hardworking.’ However, she eventually found it difficult to cope with the long working hours, so she decided to switch to teaching instead.
“I still wanted to stay within the culinary field, so I applied for a teaching position at CCSS. There I was able to share a lot of my experiences and the knowledge I had acquired through the competition and my time at Sandals, with my students.” .
Shiran is full of praise for The SLHTA and the TEF. “I would like to thank the SLHTA and the other sponsors, and the TEF for sustaining the program throughout the years. I’m very appreciative of it, not just for myself but for my students as well. Having been a participant, I always instill in them that it’s a good opportunity,” she said.
**SAVE THE DATE**
SLHTA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Thursday 19th July 2018
SLHTA Begins its Drive to Expand Linkages
On Friday 11th May, SLHTA’s Linkages officer Ms. Donette Ismael met with Mr. Jonathan Allain, Business Development Officer SEDU and Ms. Cindy Eugene Marketing Specialist at the Ministry of Commerce.
The meeting was deemed necessary in light of the Associations efforts to broaden its linkages program to include the manufacturing, agro-processing and art and craft sectors. The trio discussed passionately their ideas and aspirations for this venture.
The association understands the success of the program going  forward necessitates a collaborative effort from all stakeholders. The liaison officer in the coming weeks will continue to meet with members and other agency who will benefit from the linkages program.
Contact the SLHTA secretariat to learn more about this exciting initiative.
“Thinking outside the Bowl”
Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) Linkages Program introduces Saint Lucian Sculptor Andrew Mondesir who is pioneering the transformation of the calabash.
Trained under the watchful eye of famed Jamaican sculptor Livingston Lewin and St. Lucian Master Sculptor Vincent Eudovic in 2001, Mondesir moved on to win the top prize for sculpture at the 2012 Saint Lucia National Arts Awards.
In 2014 Mondesir traded his preferred medium Lowyé Mabyé for the Calabash, creating lanterns, bags and bowls.
Mondesir’s calabash lanterns capture the essence of the Islands, stimulating the imagination with scenes of tropical gardens and star lit nights.
Mr. Mondesir can be contact at andrew.mondesir@gmail.com or call 518-7111.
Call and make an order today!!!
Introducing The Five Keys to Safer Foods
The SLHTA and the Department of Environmental Health have collaborated to develop The Five Keys to Safer Foods . This is a simple yet cutting-edge mechanism that encompasses all the vital keys to successfully meeting the certified guidelines for food handling in St. Lucia.
This was announced during a press conference held May 16 at the SLHTA Hospitality Training Center. Representing the SLHTA were CEO, Roderick Cherry, Chief Operations Officer, Wenn Gabriel and Chef Orlando Satchell. Also present was Information Officer in the Ministry of Health & Wellness, Glen Simon.
The Five Keys to Safer Foods initiative is an innovation of Chef Orlando Satchell. They comprise of five guidelines that highlight what must be done in order for food to remain safe for consumption throughout the preparation process. They include a procedure whereby an individual who is issued a health card will be given a 15-minute demonstration on the five guidelines. This has been designed for the guidance of all St. Lucians, regardless of their educational background.
The Five Keys will spearhead increasing outputs of high food quality from the food and beverage sector in St. Lucia.
Later this year, when implemented, the Five Keys to Safer Foods will become the standards for all food and beverage operations and businesses in Allied sectors, as well, thus setting an even playing field for all sectors.
SLHTA Congratulates National Tourism Public Speaking Winners
The Saint Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association, sponsor of the National Tourism Public Speaking Competition is pleased with the performance of the students who took part in this year’s competition.
Ten students competed in the event, which is organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Heritage and Creative Industries. It was held May 16 at the Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort.
SLHTA CEO, Roderick Cherry commended the students for their impressive display of oratorical skill, and also lauded the Ministry of Tourism for the high level of the competition.
“We wish to congratulate, not just the winners but all the participants in the completion. It took courage and dedication to get this far and they deserve to be applauded. Hats off to the Ministry of Tourism for organising yet another successful event, one that the SLHTA was extremely proud to be associated with. We look forward to continue promoting and developing opportunities for the youth and students to give them a better chance of gaining careers within our industry and other sectors,” said Roderick.
The aim of the competition is to provide students aged 14 – 17 with an opportunity to air their views and offer practical suggestions regarding the development of St. Lucia’s vital tourism sector.
The theme of this year’s competition was ‘Year of Wellness and Rejuvenation – Enhancing St. Lucia’s Tourism Offering.’ Inspired by the Caribbean Tourism Organisation’s decision to declare 2018 ‘The Year of Wellness and Rejuvenation in the Caribbean,’ the students were asked to envisage themselves as a future Tourism Minister and articulate how the Department of Tourism and other industry stakeholders could use St. Lucia’s unique natural and restorative attributes to promote ‘wellness and rejuvenation’ and use this as a tool to market the island.
They were then given the option of speaking on one of four topics; social media, tourism awareness, climate change and building a more resilient Saint Lucia.
Following what turned out to be a keenly contested event, Shine Savory of St. Joseph’s Convent emerged the victor. She was rewarded with a trophy, courtesy of the SLHTA. Shine will serve in the capacity of ‘Junior Minister for Tourism 2018-2019’ and will be eligible to participate in the Caribbean Tourism Organisation 2018 Tourism Youth Congress scheduled for October 2018 in the Bahamas.
Ulyssia Lewis of the Choiseul Secondary School was the second-place winner. The SLHTA gifted her with a tablet. Chloe Doncien of the Choiseul Secondary School placed third.
SLHTA’s Finance and Administration Officer, Yola St. Jour was a member of the judging panel. She said the students gave their best and are all worthy of praise.
“They spoke eloquently and some certainly have the potential to become excellent orators. The competition showed that our youth have great potential that needs to be developed and nurtured, which is precisely what the SLHTA and the Tourism Enhancement Fund are committed to doing,” said Yola.
Will More Stringent Food Safety Standards Make or Break the Hospitality Sector?
Come July 2018, anyone who wishes to apply for a health card to handle food commercially will be required to undertake basic food handling certification training.
This is to ensure that all food handlers within the food and beverage sector are fully educated about the acceptable food safety standards and procedures, so that they can apply them properly.
Currently, food handlers are merely required to present a health certificate from a doctor indicating they are medically fit.
How will the new requirements affect the local hospitality sector? It basically means that food handlers at hotels and restaurants, and other food preparation and service establishments will have to pay much closer attention to their sanitation practices in the preparation, serving and storing of food.
The SLHTA’s decision to team up with the Ministry of Health in support of the new measures is based on our firm belief that food safety should be the hospitality sector’s primary concern when serving our customers. This is necessary in order to prevent serious foodborne illness.
The World Health Organization estimates foodborne and waterborne diseases kill approximately 2.2 million people each year. Foodborne diseases can be especially dangerous to persons with weak immume systems, especially young children and the elderly.
We have no doubt that St. Lucia’s new food industry requirements will augur well for the tourism sector and give a further boost to our efforts at maintaining world-class standards in a sector that is becoming more and more competitive. https://youtu.be/oM7g9GFT1zY
St. Lucia’s Culinary Aiming for Gold in Taste of the Caribbean 2018
The SLHTA has begun preparing for this year’s edition of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) Taste of the Caribbean Culinary Competition, scheduled to take place in Miami from June 22 – 26, 2016.
Having learned from our experience over the years, we are making an extra special effort in 2018 to select and present a winning team capable of achieving the ultimate prize.
Our participation in the 2018 Taste of the Caribbean Competition requires a focused preparatory process, as well as adequate financial resources to enable the team to give their best effort. Our goal is to organise a series of preparatory dinners, practice sessions and public culinary demonstrations that would allow the team to receive critical feedback and input from invited patrons, while progressively honing their competitive skills. Read more .  http://chtataste.com/
The Team comprises of seven chefs and one bar tender:
  1. Germain Sydney (Bartending) – The Body Holiday, Saint Lucia
  2. Niguel Gerald (Chef of Year) – Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort
  3. Kisha Prosper (Chocolate) – Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort
  4. Klent Abel (Seafood) – Marigot Bay Resort & Marina by Capella
  5. Nissa Paul (Beef) – Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort & Spa
  6. Billy Mauricette (Junior Chef) – Cap Maison
  7. Robert McDonald (Pastry) – Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort
  8. Richard Skinner (TEAM MANAGER) – Coco Resorts
Main Sponsor – SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund
 Other sponsors :
  1. LUCELEC
  2. DILLY’S SUPERMARKET
  3. Massy Stores
  4. Trans caribbean
  5. Saint Lucia Distillers
  6. Crown Foods
  7. RJB Supplies
  8. CPJ
“Interpreting Key Financial Statements to Improve Your Bottom Line”
Training will be held on the 7 th June 2018, at the SLHTA Training Centre from 9:00 am to 4.00 pm. Cost of the training course is $465.00 EC plus VAT which includes morning break and lunch.
This is a very pragmatic and interactive workshop, designed for new and existing supervisors and managers, who are looking to improve their basic understanding of the key financial statements that they are likely to come across in the running of their teams and departments.
Many new supervisors and managers are confident in their ability to undertake the operational tasks of their department but frequently shy away from understanding the underlying financial numbers of their departments.
This course seeks to reduce the fear of using ‘numbers’ in operating their department. It provides a very pragmatic and contextualized approach, including the use of real world examples, to demystify the key financial statements, allowing them to apply what is learned to improve the operations of their department.  It also gives them the confidence to discuss the information contained within financial reports with other managers including the General Manager and the business’s Financial Controller.
Topics to be covered include… READ MORE
SLTA/SLHTA MEET AHEAD OF CRUCIAL SUMMER
 The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority is unveiling an aggressive summer marketing plan, hoping to draw thousands of visitors to the country during the crucial months of June to August.
Authority officials met with the St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association on 25 April, to update their primary stakeholders on the state of the industry.
It comes amid a slow April for some hoteliers, who the SLHTA says remain jittery over the prospects for the coming months… https://youtu.be/4k8KBlATHsU