Applauding Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards 2016 scholarship recipient Shaniel Sherman
Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards 2016scholarship recipient Shaniel Sherman presentsher Baileys bread pudding (left) and pecan pie.(Photos: Joseph Wellington)
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Twenty-six year-old Shaniel Sherman was the Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards 2016 scholarship recipient. She's a 2019 UTech graduate of the School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. Today, hours before two more students receive full final-year scholarships she takes us back to the boardroom of the Jamaica Observer where, five years ago she, along with six student peers, vied for a coveted scholarship.

“Receiving the award was such a blessing for me and as grateful as I was, at the time of the announcement, I never anticipated that it would set such a precedence for where I am today. There were quite a few moments in school where I wanted to give up, but I felt a sense of responsibility where I could not let myself down or the generous ones, Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards Chair Novia McDonald Whyte and then Jamaica Observer Managing Director Danville Walker, who saw me as a deserving candidate of such an award. It pushed me to work harder to try to reach the potential I didn't recognise in myself.

I started my pastry business Forget The Fork in August 2020 and officially registered it in September 2020. I got up one day, after being home for a while due to the pandemic when uncertainty was at an all-time high and decided to build on my favourite pastime which I then realised was my passion.

It's been going extremely well. I am constantly learning and I'm excited for the growth that I've seen in myself and the business in such a short time.

One of the most important lessons I've learned thus far is to limit the limits that we place on ourselves because if we've never tried, how do we know if we can? Fear of failure is not a good enough reason for us to not try; it's just a bad excuse and I understand that now more than ever.

My specialty, I would have to say, is my carrot cake. The decadent Baileys Bread Pudding and the SuperMoist Banana Bread are a close second but the carrot cake definitely tops the list. These three items, along with my light and fluffy Coconut Cream Pie, Pecan Pie and old-school Thumbprint Cookies can all be found at Uncorked. (We know Uncorked is infamous for excellent quality!)

“I've been asked so many times about my company's name... Why that name, Forget the Fork? And my answer is usually the same… I'm tired of people acting like having dessert is a bad thing. Desserts are meant to be pleasurable, they are called indulgent for good reason. They make special moments better and their effect is long-lasting. The 'fork' represents hesitation or fear of 'enjoying too much'. I say if you feel guilty after dessert, then you're doing it wrong. The key is moderation; but don't hold back. Dive right in and I guarantee your bad mood will get good, and I promise your good mood will be even better. So I vowed to make desserts so good that you will in fact want to lose the fork and just dive in!

Her advice to students past and present who have yet to find their place and passion is: “Don't give up! Don't focus too much on timelines. There's no chronological order for success. There's no one handbook. Work on you, figure out what you're good at, what you love, what comes naturally to you, and the rewards will come. Accept your mistakes, learn from them and use those lessons to grow. Surround yourselves with people that are good for you, that want to see you thrive, avoid idle conversations that will distract you from your goals and continue to work hard. Lastly, limit your limits. Don't be afraid to try something new”.

Look out for Shaniel Sherman at Uncorked Too Constant Spring, where she is employed, and give her your feedback on her desserts!

Join us this evening @7:00 pm as we applaud the 2021 Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards scholarship recipients bit.ly/foodawardsapplaud

BaileysBreadPudding
Pecan Pie
Carrot cake
Shaniel Sherman plates a slice of her carrot cake.
Uncorked Too, Super Valu TowneCentre, Constant Spring

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