Monday, June 15, 2009

Meet CIC Student and Award-Winning Pit Master J.T. Handy

In Feb., 2009, CIC student and award-winning pit master J. T. Handy taught a Southern Barbecue Master class at the FELC Summit held at CIC's Palmer Campus. According to Mr. Troy Rosamond, Financial Director of *SUSTA, "Chef Randy Cheramie, an instructor at John Folse Culinary Institute in Thibodaux, Louisiana, attended this class. J.T. Handy did such an outstanding job that Randy returned to Thibodaux raving about this guy, saying 'we’ve got to get him for our barbecue session [for the SUSTA International Chefs Training Program].'" Mr. Rosamond had "extensive discussions with instructor George Kaslow of John Folse Culinary Institute and planned to bring on a guest barbecue chef for the program."
"The pieces," said Mr. Rosamond, "just fit together perfectly. Mr. Kaslow had preliminary discussions with Mr. Handy, found him intriging, and left it to me to contact him and make the arrangements for his participation. Everything just fell into place: the scheduling, his availability and willingness to participate, and Mr. Handy’s knowledge and ability."
Subsequently, J. T. went down to teach a class to a visiting group of chefs from India. "It went so well," said Mt. Rosamond, "that the Indian Federation of Culinary Associations has arranged for him to perform at their bi-annual conference and, I think, to tour a few of their establishments. This follow-up activity is not under the auspices of SUSTA.
"However, SUSTA will definitely work with him in the future. He has a standing guest spot in our chef training program, which is expected to last at least another three years when we plan to train chefs from three different regions of China: Year 1 – Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau, Year 2 – Shanghai, Year 3 – Beijing. Also, if an opportunity arises, we will definitely utilize him in future trade promotions that may come up. We have also introduced J.T. to the marketing department of the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, and he is likely to do some work with them in the future."
J.T. will indeed be going to India - for fifteen days in November to teach barbecue at three festivals in three different cities. Additionally, J. T. will be teaching one of his classes for the Level IV Prostart Conference at the CIC Palmer Campus in July. Congratulations, Tim! That's some success story!
See Tim in the SUSTA Newsletter at:
*SUSTA is a non-profit regional organization consisting of the 15 Southern states and Puerto Rico. We work with the USDA and with our region’s Departments of Agriculture to implement USDA funded programs that benefit value added food companies throughout our region with the goal of increasing sales of southern U.S. agricultural products. We target companies that are defined as small business by the SBA guidelines (or cooperatives), whose branded products consist of >50% US agricultural content (excluding water).
International Chefs Training Program
Since the summer of 2000, the John Folse Culinary Institute has served as a testament to how food can bring people together from around the globe.The institute serves as the home of an international training program that represents 15 southern states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Chefs come from as far away as India, Russia, Hungary, Mexico, Thailand, Canada and Croatia to participate in this two-week fellowship program sponsored jointly by the
U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Southern United States Trade Association. After arriving, chefs attend lectures and hands-on demonstrations. The experience allows chefs to create dishes they’ve never attempted before, with the hope that they will promote Southern cooking when they return to their homeland. At the end of the week, participating chefs are asked to prepare their traditional dishes with southern U.S. ingredients.

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