17 YEAR OLD STUDENT AMONG THE NATIONAL CULINARY TEAM
Thursday 2nd September 2010
"It is the first time, in the culinary art-form of Antigua & Barbuda, that a student chef is being included on the national team, which, is currently preparing to compete in the Taste of the Caribbean Competition, in Puerto Rico from September 9-12," that's according to General Manager, Antigua Hotels & Tourist Association, Neil Forrester.
The Forrester said, the inclusion of the young chef on team Antigua & Barbuda, which comprised international award winning culinary experts, has set the stage for development of a sustainable culinary art form.
The AHTA, general manager underscored the competition's objectives which are geared towards the promotion of camaraderie and educational opportunities among food and beverage professionals and at the same time continuously raising the standards of Caribbean Food and beverage excellence and professionalism in the region.
Seventeen year old Kevin Ho is the selected student chef from the Antigua & Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute (ABHTI). Ho created history on August 7th, 2010, becoming the first student chef to compete among the culinary professionals at the Magic Mango Culinary Competition, at Dutchman's Bay.
Brimming with confidence, Ho who aspires to be an Executive Chef said, the preparatory heat is on in the kitchen.
Ho expressed strong sentiments of taking home the Junior Chef of the Year title back to Antigua & Barbuda. This competition is organized by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourist Association (CHTA) and the team endorsed by the Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association (AHTA) and the Ministry of Tourism.
"I am expecting to win," he said, adding that the team leader Andrew "Stan" Baxter, who is an international award winning chef, has already put a concept in place which entails time management and presentation.
"I am prepared. I am focusing on heats, looking at time utilization because for the main competition, we (junior chefs) are to prepare four plates in one hour from a mystery basket."
Ho recalled, "When "Stan" asked me to become part of the National team, there was nothing in me that could have said no. I am so grateful...Team Antigua, Wow! This is an opportunity of a lifetime."
Executive Director of Antigua & Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute, Calvin Ambrose is equally elated, about, his student's participation in such prestigious competition.
"I am very, very happy to hear of Mr. Ho's selection in the team to represent Antigua & Barbuda in the Taste of the Caribbean, Competition." Ambrose expressed that, Ho, is a 2-year, student in the culinary program at the institute.
The Institute's executive's director described, Ho as being "keen, passionate and committed to the culinary arts." Ambrose is optimistic that his student's exposure to such high level competition would add value to his professionalism, as, he pursues his dream of becoming a professional chef."
Taste of the Caribbean, will form the back drop of the Small Hotel's Retreat. Graham Singer, one of Antigua's finest, is the lead chef, on the team; Singer has competed with distinction in internationally competitions such as the culinary Olympics.
Also among the line-up are Charlesworth Jeremy an Executive Sous Chef at Jumby Bay, Christopher Terry of Sugar Ridge (also a young chef who participated in the magic Mango culinary competition) and Maureen Bowers, Pastry Chef at Sandals, who complete the requirement of the four chefs of the team. Bowers on the other hand also worked at Carlisle Bay and Hermitage Bay, she had received several scholarships through the Caribbean Hotel Tourist Association Education Foundation.
Chef's World, Premier Beverages and Island Provisions are the major sponsors for the local team.