WHO thought that a graded activity would be anything close to being as enjoyable as the University of Technology School of Hospitality and Tourism Management International Cuisine series?
The series is an opportunity for the final-year students from the school to demonstrate the acquired abilities and skills throughout their years of study at the institution.
Lecturer and executive chef, Karl Thomas explained to TEENchef his role as advisor, consultant and motivator.
"The students are arranged in groups, which are assigned a cuisine — Jamaican, Italian, Brazilian, French, and Nigerian. Within any group, there will be disagreements and the urge to quit but I am there to support the students. They are encouraged to work it out, because that is how the real world works, and remember that it is all for the love of it," Thomas said.
International Cuisine kicked off its first night as 'Jamaica Night' on Friday, October 19, 2012 with the first group of presenters Sheena Brown, Cristallee Gillespie, Georgette Briscoe, and Ashley Ellis showcasing Jamaica Night.
The four, who were restaurant managers for the night, showed excellent teamwork, which was quite evident in the kitchen and the dining room of Lillian's Restaurant on the UTech campus in Papine. The restaurant was staffed by their batchmates, who will present their fare over the next four weeks.
With the ambiance of mento music flowing softly through the speakers of the restaurant, the guests were seated on a pavillion decorated with beautiful black, green and gold draped dining areas that gave a hint of what the students had to offer.
Sheena Brown, a student of Food and Beverage Management, told TEENchef that the preparation process ranged from the conceptualisation of the menu, including names of the dishes, theme and décor to bringing the ideas to reality. She commended her team for their organised group effort on the 'smooth sailing' night.
Executive chef, Cristallee Gillespie, who studies Food Service Management with a Culinary Arts major, saw the preparation process as being very challenging but with a strong belief in faith they were able to conquer as a team. The tedious process surprised Gillespie and she was impressed with the night's outcome.
The vibrant and enthusiastic sous chef, Georgette Briscoe, while ensuring that the executive chef's directions were executed effectively found time to motivate and boost her group members as they worked hard in the kitchen. Though the pace in the kitchen is hectic, she viewed the experience as an opportunity to develop her skills for later employment.
The busy bee of the group, Ashley Ellis, also doing a Culinary Arts major, was asous chef and expeditor, she ensured that the orders were organised and carried out. She agreed with her group members that the planning was tedious, but she was comforted that the combined and equal effort maximally paid off. Ashley enjoyed the fact that their guests appreciated the food and the kitchen staff worked together.
If you missed the first night of International Cuisine, you have the opportunity of catching it again this Friday at the Lillian's Restaurant.