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 five-day intense certificate programme. Two additional training programmes are expected to take place throughout the year, offering Higher Levels Sessions in planning stages. Trainees will gather in the brand-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.
The programme 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 programme, some 30 Saint Lucians will have benefitted.
“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 five-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 three workshops that we will have for the island and, at the end of it, the resorts 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 programme 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 programmes.
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 St.Lucia and across the Caribbean.