By Christopher Tobutt
It was a great night for the movers of Cayman’s tourism industry to meet the shakers, when ten young Caymanians who were completing WineSchool3’s Shaker Bar course had the opportunity to showcase their skills at the Cayman Spirit Company in George Town WineSchool3, which has been putting on professionally accredited bar courses all over the Caribbean since 2014, teamed up with the Cayman Spirits Company and the Department of Tourism, who paid the fees for each of the students to attend the two-week course. It’s already been a big success, with nearly all the students being offered jobs, just in time for the reopening of tourism when the government hopes Caymanians will be placed at the forefront of the industry.
“I think this is an amazing opportunity for Caymanians to continue to grow with their training and opportunities that are in tourism, and I’m so happy for WineSchool3 to be doing this,” Tourism Minister, Kenneth Bryan, said. “I think we should continue to do this, and this should not be the only cohort. I’m hearing successful things already, which is exciting, and perfect timing.
“This is a part of the government’s plan to continue with training opportunities, because tourism has to reflect the ‘Caymankind’ in it, and, honestly, it is hard to do Caymankind without being Caymanian, so we are happy with this programme and we plan to move forward with it.”
Director of WineSchool3, Christian Esser, said: “We are doing an internationally certified bar course for young Caymanians who want to get into the hospitality industry. The Shaker Bar course is a certification out of the UK which has already trained thousands of people all over the globe, and we are the representatives for them in the Cayman Islands. What we are doing today is something we want to consider like, a stress test, introducing them to the industry and have a proper setup as a bar.”
WineSchool3 co-owner, Shalico Christian, said: “I’m Caymanian, and I want to see more Caymanians in the industry. The hospitality industry is one that Caymanians tend to shy away from, just because they feel that you can’t make any money, or it’s not a prestigious job. We want to get people away from that stigma. We set the foundations for them, and they decide to go out there and continue learning and growing.”
WineSchool3 graduate Adam Stoner discussed the delicious Nelson Collins cocktail he had prepared: “It includes Poseidon gin, which is made right here at Cayman Spirits, and lemon, and the flowers have been picked in Cayman too, which gives it that beautiful blue colour,” he said.
Floyd Bodden said: “I loved doing the course. It told me a lot of things that I never had an idea about before, I mean who knew that bar tending was this intense.”
Janessa Prendergast said: “It’s been education, first and foremost, because I have no experience in bartending, I studied law. And secondly, it’s been liquid lively fun as they say here, and it’s been good meeting people from all walks of life and getting instructors who have wide amounts of experience in the field. It’s really been great. It’s a free programme offered to Caymanians, so I applied, thankfully.”