NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (October 16, 2023)- Ms. Berecia Stapleton, a local chef who recently completed a plant-based culinary course at Le Cordon Bleu London, is eager to incorporate the knowledge and skills she learned with her students and others on the island of Nevis.
The well-known chef is a resident of Gingerland and teaches Food and Nutrition at the Charlestown Secondary School. In June of this year Ms. Stapleton was awarded the Nevis Tourism Authority (NTA) NICHE Culinary Scholarship to study at Le Cordon Bleu, London for a 10-week immersive course at the internationally recognized hospitality and culinary school.
“I’ve been a chef for the past 12 years. My passion for food and the culinary arts, and teaching the younger ones what it’s like to appreciate food and the culinary arts and the possibilities and career choices is what led me to become a teacher.
“I have students who are vegan, vegetarian, Rastafarian, so it’s good to know that I have ways to include them in recipes so they don’t feel left out,” she said during an interview with the Department of Information on Monday, October 16.
Chef Berecia said attending the culinary school was well worth the experience as it exposed her not only to new dishes made without meat, but also different techniques in terms of food preparation and presentation.
“Even though it was a bit of a challenge it was a pleasant one. I was so excited to learn about different ways to cook vegetables, to cook plant-based stews, ragùs; it’s a whole other scope.
“I was able to adapt to different flavors, different textures and a whole host of vegetables that I didn’t even know existed and in so doing I am able to expand diet-wise and impart knowledge and share with others about different techniques. I’m excited to introduce some of the dishes and recipes, tweak them a bit to our island flavour and take it out to society to see what people think of it.”
She is looking forward to participating in the 10thanniversary edition of the Nevis Mango Festival in 2024.
“I’m excited to try something plant-based that will really wow the community and get people interested in making changes to their diet to live a more healthy lifestyle.”
She thanked everyone at the Nevis Tourism Authority for their help in preparing to go to London and while being there.
Mr. Devon Liburd, Chief Executive Officer of the NTA, said the agency is proud of Ms. Stapleton and want to feature her culinary skills in upcoming events.
“The Nevis Tourism Authority is very happy and proud with the representation that Berecia made not only for herself in the UK but for Nevis generally. We’re very happy she went and conquered… Having Berecia trained in this area, we are delighted and looking forward to what she brings to the table.”