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Awards to five Chefs

These are the top cooks at some of the top local hotels

Five chefs received certificates for their participation in a week-long Culinary mentorship training programme facilitated by the West Indies School of Hospitality (W.I.S.H).

The Certificate Ceremony which was held at the Silversands Grenada on October 5 awarded Marcus St. Bernard, Jason Joseph, Sabrina Fortune, Kendol Gurley, and Steve Cullimore, who were all selected by their hotel management teams to be the first cohort of chef mentors in Grenada.

Silversands Grenada, Royalton Grenada, and Mount Cinnamon Grenada were the three hotels taking part in the mentorship programme.

According to General Manager at Mount Cinnamon Grenada, Diannethea Bain, a blast email was sent out to hotels asking for recommendations to participate in the mentorship programme and one of the key factors that was considered in choosing the participants was persons who could pass on the knowledge to others and based on that they were selected.

One of the teaching mentors overseeing the programme was Phil Crispo, the instructor in the food enthusiast department and chef from CIA consulting at the Culinary Institute of America who is also known for winning the Food Network Cooking Competition ‘Chopped’ back in 2012.

According to David Cayman, Director of Client Engagement for the Culinary Institute of America, the journey started over 2 years ago with a dream to elevate the level of service in Grenada.

He spoke of the first visit to Grenada being conducted 18 months ago to sell the programme to a variety of restaurants and resorts.

He said the programme is not just one of training and teaching but of mentoring where nurturing and development are involved to help guide people, not only for job skills learning but to learn hospitality and culinary as a career and elevate levels of professionalism in cooks and chefs in Grenada.

Cayman noted that the programme created five CIA-approved mentors with the next step being to identify several members of the workforce team to go through their pro chef digital video series which is a fully online training programme that is designed to provide workforce entry-level skills to those who do not have it or have a minimal amount of it.

The next step is for the five new mentors from the different hotels to start training younger upcoming chefs at the pro chef level 1.

Cayman stressed that the idea is for these mentors to work closely with their teams as they go through the Pro Chef digital video series over 12 -16 months.

The team plans to visit Grenada again in order to execute a certification exam where the trainees will receive a credential from the Culinary Institute of America as a certified pro-chef.

“Each of these folks can take on as many as ten apprentices. So we have five mentors, we have ten apprentices each, that is 50 people that can take on this training. The idea is to continue this along the way,” Cayman said.

Some of the chefs receiving certification from the programme are Steve Cullimore (Mount Cinnamon Grenada), Sabrina Fortune (Royalton Grenada), and Marcus St. Bernard (Silversands Grenada).

Chef Steve Cullimore said that there are a couple of fundamental changes to be made concerning how things were done before and how they should be done now.

“I found the training to be very informative. We learned a lot in terms of how we teach our chefs and what we should be saying and trying to improve everybody in our workstations,” he added.

The Barbadian-born Barry Collymore, the former Press Secretary to ex-Grenada Prime Minister Keith Mitchell who has been identified as founder of W.I.S.H was in attendance at the certification ceremony.

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