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‘Culinary Explosion’ at CIH

Published:Wednesday | September 4, 2019 | 12:14 AMPaul H. Williams - Contributor
Saxophonist Deshaun Fender was superb with his rendition as patrons dined.
Saxophonist Deshaun Fender was superb with his rendition as patrons dined.

The Caribbean Institute of Hospitality (CIH) has been quietly producing skilled and creative personnel for the hospitality industry.

This was evident when the culinary management class of 2019 hosted ‘Culinary Explosion’ on the campus located at 29 Courtney Walsh Drive (Derrymore Road) on Tuesday, August 27.

It was a student project in partial fulfilment of their chef de partie course, which is a supervisory-level programme, in which students are trained to plan and execute events.

Tuesday’s event was an examination which took the form of a buffet presentation.

And there was an explosion indeed, whether against the palates of guests, the layout, or on the table d’hote menu, on which were listed vegetable soup, coconut curried goat, honey-roasted pork chops, chicken breast rollatini, pan-seared jerked fish, that could be served with rice and peas, polenta (seasoned cornmeal), Irish potatoes and vegetable pasta.

In addition, there were tossed garden salad, sautéed butter vegetable, Meikle Island and citrus vinaigrette dressing. The crescendo came when it was time for the desserts. The bread and sweet potato puddings, tarts, cookies, cake pop, macaroons, sacher torte, red velvet, pineapple upside down and Black Forest cakes certainly hit the spot on the sweet tooth.

The evening started out with a cocktail hour before diners were welcomed to the huge dining hall decorated in red, gold and white. By way of entertainment, Deshaun Fender of FENDER SAX was superb with his renditions of some well-known pieces as patrons dined. Diners were also songs from two of the student chefs.

Speaking of her journey, final-year student Shawna-Kay Henry said she felt that she and her colleagues exceeded the expectations of their teachers.

“We have completed the task that was given ... . What we have learnt we have implemented in the dishes today. They have met the expectations, myself and the others are proud; we are ready for the culinary world,” she declared.

They had reasons to be proud. Christopher Brown, a professional sous chef, and one of their part-time food and beverage tutors, spoke glowingly of their achievements, particularly with pastries.

Brown’s colleague, Executive Chef Kenard Swaby, was also present to see and taste what the students had produced.

“It is always very encouraging, and it’s a nice feeling when I see young people work together, and also execute.”

Both Brown and Swaby addressed the gathering, offering words of advice and encouragement, telling the students what to expect in their chosen industry, and how to deal with the challenges therein.

Melissa Thompson Williams, senior instructor in culinary management, also expressed her words of encouragement to the students. “They really went all out, and on this special occasion, and, literally, in Jamaican term, put their feet out. It’s a good evening. Just by walking around, looking at the faces of the guests. I can see that they enjoyed the meal ... . That is our aim here at Caribbean Institute of Hospitality. We take students in from the ground up ... and we elevate you up to another level,” she said.

According to her, the students exceeded what they were required to do.