Gros Islet, Saint Lucia (January 16th 2016): As part of its Youth Outreach Programme, the Landings last Thursday treated Food & Nutrition students from the Castries Comprehensive, Corinth and Gros Islet secondary schools to a special tour of its culinary facilities.
Students also received food preparation training tutorial in the Palms Restaurant presented by Sous Chef Jean Mark Charlemagne and Emmerly Gerald with the tour culminating at the Turquoise Beach Bar & Restaurant for lunch.
The initiative was one of many that the resort has on its calendar of activities aimed at nurturing budding talent and encouraging more students to take a keen interest in the hospitality industry.
St. Lucia-born Chef Jean Mark, team leader of the Youth Outreach Programme, is no stranger to providing free training and mentorship to students and for the past few years has spent his free time offering motivational lectures to students who share his passion for culinary arts.
With a career that spans 16 years, he found his love for cooking in his grandmother’s kitchen in Saltibus. Naturally, his first job was in a kitchen spending three years at Key Largo where he learned the basics of Italian cuisine. After seeking a change of environment, Chef Jean Mark spent three months contacting Sandals until he was offered his chance to work in all three Sandals resorts in St. Lucia where he was able to run his own restaurant.
He later worked at Sandals in Antigua and Jamaica creating Italian, Caribbean fusion, British Pub Food and his specialty fine dining plates. After receiving numerous accolades for his achievements over this five-year period, Chef Jean Mark moved to the Landings in 2009 where his love for art shone through his creative plating as Chef de Partie and then as Sous Chef in 2012 where he spends his time training and creating fine dining dishes at the resort. Now working under Chef Bill Munn, Chef Jean Mark is eager to learn the Mediterranean techniques and secrets of the trade from the new Executive Chef.
According to Chef Jean Mark, “never stop learning and be successful. We always need to link our passion with our desire and be obsessed about it.” He credits his drive to learn and excel at whatever he does to his love for reading and being fortunate to have very dedicated role models along the way.
The culinary team will take their Youth Outreach Programme to the Job Fair Expo scheduled for February 4 at the Johnsons Centre.
For more information about the company’s other outreach programmes, dining at the restaurant or culinary tours, please contact us on 458-7300.