Competition Experience a Great Help!

12/09/2022 02:32 PM
WorldSkills Barbados News

Following nearly two years of training sessions and preparation for periodic assessments, and several weeks of virtual, friendly, and national competitions, the WorldSkills Barbados 2020 Champions wrapped up their final international competition on October 26th, 2022.

Cooking competitor, Jessica Cummins and Restaurant Service competitor, Tonquanja Giddings were selected to represent Barbados after their training and continuous assessment throughout 2021 and 2022. Under the guidance of Chef Peter Edey (Cooking) and Roderick Prescod (Restaurant Service), the two competitors were also provided with opportunities to improve their soft skills.

The Barbados delegation traveled to Lucerne, Switzerland, to compete in the four-day WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition (WSC2022SE) in Cooking and Restaurant Service from October 23-26, 2022. Trainers Chef Peter Edey and Roderick Prescod also served as Judges during the international competition.

As she prepared and trained for the competition, Jessica Cummins shared her experience, noting that after her training - which lasted more than a year- she acquired much-needed food knowledge. “I also did competitions and training sessions to prepare me timewise and help me to work under pressure and within a certain time frame. What helped me the most was the competition experience because it gives a feeling of the real thing and pushes you to work more efficiently and quickly,” she said.

When asked about her expectation, pre and post competition, Cummins stated: “My expectations were that it was going to be very challenging especially knowing I was competing against young chefs from all over the world with different trainings, cultures, and exposures…and one thing I took away from the competition is to include more of my personality and character into my menu and dishes and not to be afraid to modernize and build on basics to create my menu.”

She concluded: “My overall competition experience was very eye opening and exciting. I learned a lot from the other young chefs and experts and got to experience pieces of other cultures.”

Speaking to the significance of competitions such as these, expert and coach, Chef Peter Edey stated: “What this competition does is give you a view and understanding of the science behind cooking. They are testing you at the early stages in your career, and this is important because it prevents things like cross contamination and things that can cause outbreaks and illnesses, all this is the part of cooking that you don’t see.”

Chef Edey also commented on the competitors' performances, specifically Jessica's, saying that while he couldn't judge, he could monitor, and she did an excellent job. “Her skills were really good, the one thing I could say about all of our competitors that went into this competition is that the skill level is on par with anywhere in the world. Where they fell down is the management part, I think they got a little intimidated when they saw the competition and when they saw the magnitude of this job at hand,” he said.

Edey continued: “I believe that our young people, they are a little bit too protected…To get the medallion (for excellence), we must now toughen them up. Those young people (international competitors) are out there from early fighting and fending for themselves, our people are more protected so when we get thrown into the den, we are kind of fighting to get through.”

He concluded: “Our young people are very good and skilled, but they need toughening.”