‘A TASTE OF ST. CROIX’ COMMITTEE, in partnership with INNOVATIVE, is pleased to announce the presentation of $2000 in awards to three St. Croix schools to help nurture student interest in the culinary industry. Four awards were presented to three schools as a prize for the final members of the 2014 St. Croix Culinary Juniors, one of A Taste of St. Croix Inc.’s current 365 Projects.
Each member of the St. Croix Culinary Juniors earned a $500 award that will serve to enhance their school’s cooking club, home economics class, and/or after-school program that emphasizes the skills necessary in the hospitality industry. Recipients included: on behalf of Daralin Acevedo, Elena Christian Junior High School, Sevon Washington of St. Patrick’s School, and Jade Bryan and Rider Odom for Good Hope Country Day School.
The St. Croix Culinary Juniors is a team of four 7th and 8th graders who each wrote and submitted original recipes that were tested by Gary Klinefelter, the Executive Chef at The Buccaneer, in round one of a selection process for the team. In round two, they competed in a Kids “Top Chef” Cook Off in which they successfully passed blind identiﬁcations, answered cooking trivia questions, and then created a dish using local produce, spices, honey, and coconut oil. With training from Chef Gary, the Culinary Juniors helped build the menu for a Cork & Fork, an elite private dinner held at Estate Belvedere at the 2014 St. Croix Food and Wine Experience.
A Taste of St. Croix again will be recruiting 7th and 8th graders for new members of the 2015 team. For 2015, young people will again complete two rounds of a selection process, with the first requiring students to submit a recipe and the second a fun showcase of finalists’ talents at a mini Kids Iron Chef Cook Off at the Agricultural Fair. The team will then go on to mentor with executive chefs and participate in a Cork & Fork Dinner Event at the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience. Students interested in applying may visit: tasteofstcroix.com for the rules and entry form.
As a nonprofit organization, A Taste of St. CroiX, Inc.’s mission is to showcase the talent and potential of St. Croix’s hospitality industry through their 365 Projects, which foster partnerships, sponsor training and industry events, and build public awareness of the critical role that the service-industry fills in improving the socioeconomic future of St. Croix. Katherine Pugliese, co-founder of the Taste stated that, “With the recent attention of St. Croix’s internationally recognized culinary industry, A Taste of St. Croix believes it is more vital than ever that our community encourage the talent and interest young people have at an early age.” The St. Croix Culinary Juniors is a part of a growing vocational pipeline for young people interested in pursuing a career in the culinary industry that complements the work of its partners, the St. Croix Foundation, Innovative and the Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC) and others.
The St. Croix Culinary Juniors is A Taste of St. Croix’s newest 365 Project and is sponsored by Innovative Communications.