Sandals backs training of local chefs

The Sandals Corporate University in Saint Lucia has rolled out the first of a series of three culinary workshops in partnership with the New England Culinary Institute (NECI), based in Montpelier, Vermont USA.

Under the stewardship of Instructor Chef Joey Buttendorf, 10 junior chefs and cooks from across all three Sandals Resorts in the island will benefit from a 5-day intense certificate program. Two additional training programs as expected to take place throughout the year, offering Higher Levels Sessions in planning stages.

They will gather in the spanking new state-of-the-art facility that caters to the island’s newest and most modern eateries available at Sandals Grande St. Lucian.

For more than three decades the NECI apprenticeship model has been a recipe for success, with more than 5000 alumni.

The program is delivered to small groups at a time, and continues with long internships, and unparalleled personal attention. These are said to be the raw ingredients of a NECI education. By the end of the program, some 30 Saint Lucians will have benefited.

“Since 1980 NECI has grown from seven students to an accomplished group of over 5,000 alumni. Our continued commitment to professionalism and real-life experience has given us a reputation for serious, creative, passionate chefs and food service professionals,” said Instructor Chef Joey Buttendorf.

Regional Group Manager for Human Resource and Training at Sandals Resorts International – Eastern Caribbean, Ryan Matthew, has assured that the students will be working side-by-side over the 5-day exercise, with a highly skilled, dedicated Instructor Chef.

“This is an awesome opportunity for some of our line cooks to learn and hone their basic culinary skills. This is the first of 3 workshops that we will have for the island and at the end of it, each resort will have trained 30 talented Saint Lucians. This level one course is the prerequisite for the other two levels which we will roll out later in 2016,” Matthew said.

He added that the tight-knit, caring, and supportive program will continue to offer support that will stimulate the participants’ creativity and growth long after they are certified.

The initiative continues as part of the Sandals Corporate University’s mandate to the professional development of Sandals talents through reputable education and training programs.

The Sandals Corporate University was launched in 2012 and has so far opened avenues for educational advancement for more than 14000 of Sandals talents in Saint Lucia and across the Caribbean.