Banco Popular kicked off the third edition of its annual culinary event "Ultimate Flavors of the Islands" with a special mentoring session in which students were able to swap stories with world-renowned chefs.
The mentoring session was divided in two parts. Over 50 students had the opportunity to ask questions and swap stories with a panel of eight chefs: Brad Farmerie, Elizabeth Falkner, Raquel Policart, Paulette Goto, Matt Gennuso, José Enrique, Efrain Cruz and Daina Soto. Afterwards, Chef Jeff Butler from the International Culinary Institute, shared techniques on how to dress and cook birds, from the cuts to the flavors.
The chefs urged students to take risks and give it their all in order to be successful in the culinary industry. They also shared how perseverance is key and starting as a dishwasher is a stepping-stone and an important job. "Know where your food comes from, how to cook it and what you want to achieve. It is the difference between good food and amazing food," said Chef Matt Gennuso, chef and owner of Chez Pascal.
"This is the most significant part of this event. We hope to provide the students with a special opportunity where they can interact and learn from chefs that they have admired for a long time," stated Oran Bowry, senior vice president of Banco Popular's Virgin Islands region.
The chefs offered their secrets to the students and encouraged them to buy local and sustain their communities because the result will be better food and closer resources.
The Mentoring Session is the first event of a two-day culinary extravaganza that will continue with a "Vive la France" private dinner for 100 guests on Thursday evening.
On Friday evening, "Ultimate Flavors of the Islands" will end with a "Grand Tasting" event in which, aside from tasting food from local Virgin Islands' restaurants, people will experience live cooking at the Demo Kitchens and watch the chefs in a time-crunch at the Chefs Challenge.
Proceeds from ticket sales go to the USVI Department of Education for the development and implementation of local culinary programs.
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