Administrators of the the H Lavity Stoutt Community College were blown away by the stellar performance displayed by five second-year culinary students of the Culinary and Hospitality Studies Department, during a grading showcase on Friday June 4 at the school facility.

This was the sentiment shared by the Chef Instructor Clint Creque, Director of the Culinary and Hospitality Studies Department Mrs. Keshia Davis-Barnes and President of HLSCC Dr. Richard Georges, during the showcase of this year’s theme event entitled “wedding cakes”.

The five participants included Ashley Browne, Mia McMaster, Gia Wilson, Kacie Smith and Cinique Henry.

Students posing by their cakes with Chef Instructor Clint Creque

Speaking to 284 Media, Chef Instructor Creque who is also known in the BVI as Cake Boss, explained the task of the students.

“What you’re seeing here today is the final product of what the students did. The students were given a task where they had to complete a final sugar piece which is a cake piece, that’s what’s being displayed here today. The cakes which are being displayed today are depicting wedding cakes, so each student were given a task where they had to design their cake based on their personality,” he stated.

“So from the sketch that they had they had to depict what they actually sketched and bring it to reality so as the chef I know it’s not an easy task but they were times they wanted to give up but me the dedicated chef that I am, I pushed them to reach to the limit to actually produce what’s being displayed here today,” Chef Creque further explained.

Quality production by students

Director Davis-Barnes said that she was in awe with the quality of cakes produced by the students, considering that some would have came into the programme with little to no experience in baking.

“I want to say a special thank you to Chef Clint Creque for his hard work and his dedication and his perseverance, because it is not easy trust me, when you have persons in a kitchen who probably are not use to this craft and learning this skill and you have to put your time into it. And he is a giver of his whole skill and for that I am forever grateful to him,” Davis- Barnes stated.

She added, “I always just want to encourage persons to understand that after a student leaves HLSCC Culinary and Hospitality Studies unit, they have the foundation necessary to be successful in any area of the hospitality field and I also want to say that tourism being one of the main economic pillars of our territory, it is important for us to produce human resources of a high standard so that we can continue to elevate our service excellence.”

Night classes now available from September

The director also revealed that starting from next semester in September at the college, night classes will be offered for those working persons who may be interested in pursuing culinary studies.

“People come on down to HLSCC if you want to be able to do a certification in baking, a certification in pastry or a certification in cooking, this semester in September we have night classes for persons who are working in the day and would like to pursue a certificate of achievement in another skill, because it is important for us in the Virgin Islands to enhance and build ourselves,” she stated.

Performances a testament to the quality of teaching from the faculty

Meanwhile, President of HLSCC Dr. Georges said that the performances of the students is proof that the culinary faculty is gaining the intended results envisioned upon its inception.

He said, “I think we continue to be impressed by the talent and the execution of the culinary arts students in our programme, I am very proud of them. It is a testament to the discipline, the dedication and commitment of the faculty, in this case Chef Clint with the pastry and baking class as well as the director of the institute Mrs. Keisha Davis-Barnes and the rest of the culinary hospitality team. It is an integral part of the college’s future edition, that we ensure that training in the culinary hospitality sector is invested in from our side and that we create opportunities for students to take their rightful place in the industry.”

“We want to make sure that we are operating as a platform to buttress the recruitment needs of the industry and to make sure young Virgin Islanders and people who live here have opportunities to really compete in that industry and to really demonstrate that we are as good as gold here and we think we can do things in this space that is truly world class,” he added.