There is an old saying, out of every disappointment, there is a blessing, and we simply have to look for it and use it to our benefit. Such was the case last year, as the Anguilla Culinary Team was unable to compete in last year’s Taste of the Caribbean, due to financial constraints.
Come June 2011, Anguilla's Chefs will be ready to travel to Miami to compete, and they are poised to bring home more gold medals for Anguilla. In the effort to ensure that funding is available, the team of chefs with support from the Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association is currently in the process of organizing a series of fundraisers, scheduled for the months of February, March, April, May, and June, (with the first event being scheduled to take place on February 18th, at Ripples Restaurant in Sandy Ground,). Also much appreciated is a repeat visit to the island from Chef Augusto to critique the team being scheduled for early June. (A full schedule of events outlining dates and time will be available shortly).
While the Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association is keenly poised to assist the chefs with organizing their events, and solicit funding for the team, the Association’s efforts and focus will be on cultivating the team of chefs so that they may take hold of the helm to manage the team internally.
The National Culinary Team’s blessing came on November 1st 2010, when they were officially incorporated as a non-profit organization, ready to do business, and the team's chefs are now offering their services for private parties, providing villa chefs, or to assist with any other special occasion where their services may be required.
Gilda Gumbs-Samuel, Executive Director of the Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association said, “we have started soliciting financial support from the Government, as well as the private sector to ensure that we are not faced with the same unfortunate financial issue we had last year, but the association’s focus is in assisting the team to start thinking as a business, thus enabling themselves not simply to compete in the culinary competition, but to be ready to face the future. The aim is to be able to assist past, present, and future team members, to capitalize on the benefit of training and position themselves for their own future businesses or gain the experience and knowledge to slide into the positions of Sous and Executive Chefs on the island. Our chefs are super talented, and I do not see any reason why they should not be poised for some of the top chefs positions on the island. The only drawback would be lack of training and knowledge of the administ part of the positions, and that is what we aim to make sure they get. Funds will be used for them to further educate themselves where needed.”
The team of chefs and the AHTA is seeking the public’s assistance in attending as many of the functions as possible, and we look forward to your support. Further information will be available soon.