Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, is pictured while participating in the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts Celebrity Cook-Off which was held last Saturday at Emerald City Supermarket, St.Philip. At left, is National Cultural Foundation Chairman, Monique Taitt. (U. Gaskin/BGIS)

More Barbadians should see the culinary arts as a lucrative career.

This view was expressed by Minister of Family, Culture, Youth and Sports, Stephen Lashley, while participating in a National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) Celebrity Cook-Off last Saturday, at Emerald City Supermarket in St. Philip.

According to Mr. Lashley, the business of culinary skills is growing with a number of Barbadian chefs doing exceedingly well on the international scene. "We believe that this is an area that we can actually interest our young people [in] as a career path," he said.

To this end, he promised there would be an intensification of the efforts of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) and the Ministry of Culture to try to sensitise Barbadians about the kind of opportunities available in the culinary arts.

In relation to the Cook-Off, Mr. Lashley indicated: "This is a way of spreading the whole thrust, in terms of culinary arts. The NCF, as you know, has a very vibrant culinary arts programme, and every year, we seek to highlight the benefits of it through this programme. And, in relation to the Youth Development Programme, we’re actually about to start the annual session through the [Samuel Jackman Prescod] Polytechnic and the Barbados Community College in relation to the culinary arts."

He added that the NCF was looking to see how it could better position its officers to make the most of the Cook-Off and the culinary arts, in general, in the near future. The Culture Minister pointed out that there was a close working relationship between the NCF and the Division of Youth because they were pursuing the same things.

The celebrity competition attracted the cream of this country’s entertainers, including monarchs David ???Popsicle’ Hall, Michael ???Mikey’ Mercer and Terencia ???T.C’ Coward, as well as NCF Chairman, Monique Taitt and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Donna Hunte Cox, among others.


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