Two kitchen experts from one of the major hotels on Saipan will be helping out at the Northern Marianas Trade Institute to train the Commonwealth's future culinary professionals.
Blake E. Carothers and Shawn Sweeney, both employees of the Hyatt Regency Saipan, are the newest additions to the teaching workforce of the trade institute, which offers a short-term culinary arts program.
Carothers and Sweeney bring to 15 the number of instructors at the institute for the new cycle of enrollees. The two will join instructor Norisa Camacho in the school's culinary arts program, which will open next month.
Carothers, who is Hyatt's chef de cuisine, said yesterday that their curriculum will range from the basics in the culinary arts to advanced lessons.
Carothers was with Hyatt Regency Saipan in 2009. He then transferred to the Hyatt Regency in Lake Tahoe as its lead banquets/butcher for more than two years. He rejoined Hyatt Saipan as its chef de cuisine in June this year.
Before joining the hotel industry, Carothers worked in various capacities for the University of Wyoming, Texas Tech University, Ark Regional Services, and Ministry of Economic Affairs in Taiwan.
He obtained his bachelor's degree in political science from University of Wyoming in 2005 and earned a masters of arts in communication in 2008. In 2009, he obtained his associate in culinary arts degree from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.
A first-time instructor at the institute, Carothers is confident that despite the limited instructional time for the program, students will gain many great lessons and experiences similar to what students can learn in a two-year culinary arts program. Already excited to meet his students, Carothers said he has only one expectation-to make every student in his class become successful in the program.
Like Carothers, Sweeney is also a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts where she obtained a patisserie and baking associate degree last month. She is currently Hyatt's pastry chef in-training.
Prior to this position, she served as cart lead in Herbs Mac and Cheese in Portland, Oregon. She also worked for Eclexion Arts and Fashions in Portland, Oregon as the company's caterer and assistant business manager and as field manager for Fund for Public Interest in Portland.
Sweeney is a recipient of the Blue Grant Scholarship and won first place in the Gingerbread House Competition in Le Cordon Bleu and was also the institution's Dean's Honors List in 2010.
Sweeney said this is her first time on the island and the first time to be an instructor.
Carothers and Sweeney will be teaching 20 students each class.