Training personnel for the hospitality industry at the tertiary level

Bar operations class at the CFBC pose for a group picture with their instructor, Dominic Stevens (in tie)

St. Kitts (November 8, 2010) — Following the closure of St. Kitts’ 300-year-old sugar industry, the country is on the threshold of being a top service industry provider in the region. However, this position will only be maintained with the consistent training of personnel working in the industry.

“There are number of us who are trained to work in the hospitality industry, but with the growth of the tourism sector as government pushes ahead its marketing of the federation as a tourist destination, there is need to have more people trained to fill in the extra openings and also to take over from us,” notes award winning Kittitian bar operator and trainer, Dominic Stevens.

“The World Travel Market opened today (Monday November 8) in London and a large contingent is representing St. Kitts and Nevis at this world premier tourism trade exhibition. When they succeed in bringing more tourists to our shores, and I am positive that this they will do, it will be for us on the ground to ensure that the tourists receive that once-in-a-lifetime treatment.”

According to Stevens, the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) is offering courses in the hospitality industry at the tertiary level, and he is one of the instructors. He is currently dealing with 2nd year students in the bar operations of the hospitality class. Recently the class put on a demonstration with different drinks and cocktails they have learnt throughout the time in class.

Student Cheremi Esdaille prepares her drink, named ‘Serendipity – an unfortunate discovery’, under the watchful eyes of the judges, Michael Guishard (left) and Shatresha Ephraim

“The exercise is cocktail practical presentation where each trainee must present what you call a ‘drink of the day’,” explained Stevens. “They come up with their own ideas, creation and decoration for what they want to present. They will get the ingredients for themselves and each trainee must have a different drink of their own choosing.”

Stevens, who is also an instructor in the hotel trades operations with the Youth Empowerment through Skills (YES) Programme, pointed out that after preparing the drink, they would present it and they would be scored on five different categories: Marksmanship, the scale of the presentation, the taste and time because each trainee has seven minutes in which to make and present their drink to the judges.

“This course is part of hospitality and culinary arts,” noted Stevens. “What I am teaching them is hospitality and bar operations. These are the second year students. From this they will have their practical presentation of lunches later this month (November) and they will go out in the field for practical lessons by December.”

Esdaille presents her drink to the judges as other students watch in anticipation

Judges during the presentations were Mr Michael Guishard and Ms Shatresha Ephraim. An experienced hand in the field, Guishard is also a hospitality instructor in the YES Programme. Ephraim is a former trainee in the YES Programme who scored the highest academic mark, averaging 99.0 percent overall and is currently employed as a supervisor in the hospitality field at the Star of India Restaurant.

All the twelve students in the class were each given seven minutes to prepare the drink after which they presented it to the judges, Guishard and Ephraim for scoring. The other students sat patiently and encouraged the one preparing the drink with constant positive loud cheering and clapping at each stage of the preparation of the drink and presentation to the judges.

“I have been teaching at the CFBC for four years” said Stevens. “My classes run from September to December every year, because I have them on the last wing of the second year. As for this class I have been with them from September of this year and we are going to be together until the end of the year.”

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