By Douglas Soo Yam, chef. What can I say about myself… I am a chef, a lecturer, a student, a guide. Currently, I am in my last semester at Trinidad and Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute (TTHTI) completing my BSc in Culinary Management; as a chef you can never stop learning and developing yourself. I am also a chef lecturer at TTHTI where I am also part of the team that executes functions and events. I love teaching and working with young and mature student chefs; they have that excitement and attitude that encourage me as a teacher to give them as much knowledge as possible so they can be successful.
We take pride in producing world class hospitality graduates
Our main and internal clients are our students first and foremost; we take pride in producing world class hospitality graduates who time after time excel in their fields of expertise. When we do functions for a various range of external clients, we always ask our students to volunteer or integrate it into practical classes so they can take the opportunities and gain first-hand experience.
Students get real hands-on experience and also get to see the appreciation of clients when they receive great products and services that they [the students] have put forth. It really gives them a great feeling to see clients happy and they really enjoy the pace and excitement. We have done a list of events ranging from all-inclusive fetes for 1000-plus people, to a lunch meeting for seven people. We try not to limit ourselves because we teach our students to challenge themselves so they can improve and grow as chefs. Trinidad is my land of which I am proud and glad… I love Trinidad. Nowhere in the world is perfect but I rather be here than any place else. The diversity of this country has made me what I am, because it is our fusion of flavours from our different cultures that has allowed me to create all the dishes that we know with my personal twist for people to enjoy. There is no place like it and I will continue doing what I love here for as long as I can.
Young people in Trinidad and Tobago are exposed to so much more than I was when I was younger that I do not see them having a problem in finding the right channels to practice and use their talents. What I will say is, doing what you love and loving what you do will always bring you happiness and fulfilment. Do not sell yourself short; if you think you have a talent or skill, pursue it and embrace it; do not let people tell you what to do. Develop yourself as a professional and you will always be successful. Keep positive company that will help you be a better person and keep God a part of your life and you will achieve everything you can imagine. It is easy to do nothing, but great things don’t come easy; work hard and keep thinking of ways to improve yourself.
April 2013 – Issue 4 www.sweettntmagazine.com
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