Statian students working hard to become professional Chefs

Statian students Crystal Spanner and Ricky Courtar in the kitchen of the SGB-training to become a professional chef at MBO-2 level. Photo: Harald Linkels

Kralendijk- Two Statian students, Ricky Courtar and Crystal Spanner are working hard to achieve their diploma as professional Chef at the MBO-department of the Scholengemeenschap Bonaire (SGB). The 2-year course consists of a theoretical part and a lot of practice, both in the school kitchen and at various restaurants on the island.

The two students from Statia were involved in a preparation for the local press on Wednesday night of a 3-course meal, with the use of locally brewed Bonaire Blond beer.

Both students told The BES-Reporter that they enjoyed the training, which they said at times was hard work. Teacher Isidor van Riemsdijk said about his Statian students: “These two are always fighting”. Judging on the teacher’s face and the broad grins of the students involved, something which has to be taken with a grain of salt.

Crystal Spanner (left), seen here with a fellow student from Bonaire, is working on the main dish of the evening: Dorado fish steamed in foil with vegetables and Bonaire Blond beer. Photo: Harald Linkels

According to Van Riemsdijk the demand for professionally trained Chefs is high. “I am called every single day by restaurants and hotels on the island asking if I know of any Chefs looking for a job”. Unfortunately the interest of local students to become a professional Chef does not keep up with demand in the labor market.

Ricky Courtar is seen here frying slices of funchi, to be used in the place of the more classical bread to prepare an onion soup, covered with melted cheese. Photo: Harald Linkels

The training of students to be a professional Chef, such as Ricky and Crystal, is of course very important to get the tourism product on the islands on a higher level. For students from Statia and Saba the challenge is bigger than those from Aruba, Curaçao or Bonaire. Students from the smaller Dutch Caribbean islands will, in most cases, have to leave the island for at least two years to achieve their diploma on an MBO-2 level.

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