Served! HLSCC Culinary Arts Centre officially declared open
In his remarks, Dr. Smith stated he continued to applaud the HLSCC’s ongoing hospitality programme, which helps to shape the career path of young people. Students, he explained, “develop and acquire cooking and entrepreneurial skills as they learn about international cuisine and cultures.”
Premier Smith, who was accompanied by Minister for Education and Culture Hon. Myron V. Walwyn, further stated that the project was funded through parallel co-financing between the 7th European Development Fund and the Government of the Virgin Islands and supervised by his office.
Dr Smith said much was expected of the HLSCC and even more with the construction of the Culinary Arts Centre. "I look forward to what the H.L Stoutt Community College will further do, in shaping not only the technical skills of students, but the products and quality of service we provide.”
With this new facility, the Premier explained, HLSCC can now increase its capacity for quality training in food preparation, presentation and service. Chefs will further learn techniques for menu planning, and recipe development, for example.
President of HLSCC Dr. Karl Dawson Dr Dawson explained that the offerings of the Centre’s programme will include an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts, which he suspects will be the route by which many young persons will enter the field.
“In fact,” he related, “some nine persons began classes in that degree programme during this current semester.”
He continued, “The programme also calls for the offering of certificate courses aimed at upgrading the skills and certifying professionals already in the industry. This would include persons working in the territory’s restaurants and other institutions offering food service but also, perhaps not as obviously, those involved in food service aboard our charter yachts. Not to be left out are individuals in the community who simply want to learn to cook or as is popularly said, to step up their game in the kitchen. We will have opportunities for you as well. Direct services to tourists are also included in our plans.”
The HLSCC President noted that the Programme of the Culinary Arts Centre would move forward based on some key pillars.
Firstly, the programme development and review will be guided by stakeholders in the local industry through the use of advisory committees. These individuals are expected to help make curricular choices suited to the current needs of the industry and help to gain feedback on students’ and graduates’ performances when in the field.
Secondly, he added, international standards will be used in the curriculum where possible. In this instance, the HLSCC had gained approval to offer various offerings in Culinary Arts by City and Guilds International, a long-standing world leader in the certification of technical and vocational qualifications.
Thirdly, a hands-on approach to education and training, which manifests itself in the way the courses are facilitated in the classroom and the use of internships for real-world experiences.
Following the simple ceremony, attendees were given a guided tour of the facility by Chef Neil Cline.