Top Social

Young Chefs Season 2: The High School Edition

Friday, December 15, 2017
Chef Latoya Panton
In today’s society, Latoya Panton stands out as a rare combination of humble, hardworking, dedicated and passionate about the Culinary Arts.  She is the CEO of Delicious Occasions Catering & Cooking Classes, which is her very own catering company that she founded after studying Institutional and Catering Management at the University of Technology, Jamaica.

She has been in the Culinary Industry for several years and is highly respected by her peers for her contributions to the Industry and also for developing Jamaica’s first Cooking Reality Series, Young Chefs.

Young Chefs is essentially the brain-child of Panton as a way to marry her love for cooking and also for teaching and nurturing young children to follow their passions to pursue a career in the Culinary Arts. Young Chefs will be launching its second season in 2018 on TVJ which will be dubbed  “High School Edition”.

The Haute Lifestyle had the privilege to interview the “Young Chef” recently and she was extremely calm and knowledgeable and it was hard to believe that someone so accomplished could be so easy to speak with. Read the exclusive interview below.

THL: Tell us a bit about your culinary background?
L.P: I’ve been cooking ever since I can remember; In High School I was involved in everything that was food at St. Jago, from Food & Nutrition to Culinary competitions. While I was in High School in 5th form, there was a cooking competition Geddes BWIA Caribbean Culinary Competition which they had at the Pegasus and I entered that competition and I won a trip to Antigua and Martinique for the summer. This competition “wet my appetite” to go into the field even more than before. After leaving St. Jago in 6th Form, I went on to UTECH to study Institutional and Catering Management which I thoroughly enjoyed and after that I was at Disney for 1 year working in Food & Beverage then I returned home wanting to start my own business.  Starting a Business was always a dream of mine so I came back home and tested the waters and tested myself to see if this is something I wanted to do. The biggest caterer at the time was Lorraine Fung and I went on some catering jobs with her where we catered  to hundreds of people and I worked for 2 days straight without sleep and at the end of that I was exhausted and I was ready to go again. This was when I really knew what I wanted to do and the rest as they say is history. I started my own business Delicious Occasion Catering and Cooking Classes.

THL: Give us an overview of “Young Chefs” and why you decided to create the show
L.P: Young Chefs the TV Show started out from my 10 years of cooking and giving cooking lessons to young kids where I also had Summer Classes. I kept seeing that these classes were 1 week long and students that came to me for 1 week; they started cooking from the Monday morning and their parents didn’t allow them to cook in the Kitchen before. There were 8 year olds and teenagers who came in and they were passionate, they really enjoyed cooking and they came on a Monday and by Friday they left me with my mouth wide open! They were doing so well—they had mastered their knife skills, they were confident and they were just cooking. I did a gourmet cooking class that year when I first thought of doing the show and what I saw was even more amazing.  I’ve always thought about doing a cooking show and I said this is it! I’m going to do a cooking show with these young children and show Jamaica what is possible once there is a passion and that is how I just jumped! I didn’t think about the “how” or “why” or even money, I just got up and found someone who could help with Marketing, I knew someone who did production and I just jumped into the water and Young Chefs was created.

THL: How is Season 2 different from Season 1?
L.P: This season will be High School Children because I teach children from as young as 4 years old all the way up to High School and during the summer we have College students as well as our adult classes. The High School students I saw from the first season were something that represented what we did in the summer classes. We have Young Chefs 1- Beginners, Young Chefs 2- International Foods, Young Chefs Baking, Young Chefs Gourmet and Young Chefs College Edition. Usually you graduate from one to the next and I thought I would make the show go in that same order, where I would have done Young Chef 1 the younger children and the move on to the High School and then possibly the college edition. That was the thinking as to why I wanted High School students this time around as teenagers are able to take on much more than the younger children.  I can go deeper as it relates to the challenges and I want to show the audience what young people are capable of.  In High School you are thinking about careers and I just want to expose that to young people who might not know what they want to do. Having a career in the Culinary Industry is available and it’s exciting. Season 2 is moving the show over to the High School Edition.
THL: What would you say distinguishes your show from other TV cooking shows?
L.P:  In our show, it is reality but nothing is staged or done ahead.  The children are passionate about cooking and what you will be seeing on screen is what actually happens. This is real cooking, nothing is doctored or rehearsed … it is exactly what happens. It makes it a bit more exciting to watch and just to see what really can come out of these children. What they will be prepared on is nothing that will come from the challenges. They won’t be in any way prepared ahead of time so everything they do will be done on spot.

THL: What inspires you on a daily basis?
L.P:  Just knowing that food, the culinary arts is something that you cannot master. That is what I love about food, no matter what, there is always more to learn. There is just more to learn and that is definitely something that keeps me going, and keeps me trying to reach the top. That makes it more fun for me as the challenge remains – the daily inspiration even when I’m having my cooking classes, knowing that I will be helping to bring out the creativity of these young people. Some of these children don’t even know the talent they have and knowing that I can help to pull this out of them is my inspiration each day.  I’ve been working on getting cooking clubs in High Schools and there is now one at St. Georges; these young men don’t have a kitchen at school at all. We cook in classrooms on desks and just to see what is coming out of these young men despite all the odds of not having a kitchen are the things that inspire me and to know that in the future some of them might take this on as a career and I know they will be successful. This in itself is an inspiration.

THL: What are 3 words people use to describe you?
L.P: Some people say I’m calm, passionate and always wanting to be better.

THL: Finish the sentence … “when I’m not cooking I’m …
L.P: Studying about food! it’s always something food related when I’m not actually cooking.  I do a lot of online courses, I am forever just learning and seeking more inspiration as it relates to food and just thinking of new ways I can engage my young chefs in class when we have clubs and when we go to Georges; what can I do to make this more fun and creative? My mind is always on food in some way.

Latoya Panton is a trained chef with an honours diploma in Institutional and Catering Management from the University of Technology. Latoya has worked internationally with Walt Disney Resorts before returning home to Jamaica to pursue catering and cooking school businesses. 
Young Chefs” will begin production in January 2018. Viewers won't have long to wait as the series is set to hit the TVJ airwaves by late April of 2018, to coincide with the beginning of Child’s Month. Young Chefs is Jamaica’s first format- driven cooking reality- show that focuses on children competing in the kitchen in hopes of earning the title of 'Jamaica’s Young Chef'.

Keep up with Young Chefs on Social Media

Having an event? Invite us 

Twitter: @hautepeople
Instagram @haute_people

The Art of Holiday Shopping

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Holiday shopping is an art, make no mistake about it. You need to have a deep understanding of the people
you’re buying gifts for, as you want people to truly enjoy the presents you give them.
Holidays are all about spreading joy, and there are truly few things more precious than seeing the excitement
on someone’s face and the sparkle of joy in their eyes as they open a present that you’ve put so much thought
into. Generic presents are passé, and the art of gifting has been taken to an entirely new level, so you have to
keep up. Now, if you’re not the most insightful person and you don’t have the ability to read people’s minds,
you’ve come to the right place. Here’s how we’re going to play. We are going to provide you with an awesome
list of possible gifts, and then a light will turn on in your head and you’ll know exactly for whom a particular gift
would be perfect for. Think of this as a joint effort – we give you a nudge and you cross the finish line.

Preparation ruling the nation

The first thing you need to do is make a list. Write down all the names of all the people you’ll be shopping for
this holiday season, and then think about some of their most dominant traits, interests and likes. Divide them
into categories. For instance, create a column for artsy types, fashionistas, book lovers, people who love novelty
and gag gifts, wanderlusts, and so on. This categorization will enable you to narrow down your gift choices and
then you are ready to go hunting. Before you do, set a budget and do your best not to go overboard because
you don’t want to end up having to leave someone without a gift. Ok, now let’s get specific.

From art lovers to pop culture fanatics

The choices for this group of people are virtually endless. One way to go is with something unique and
handmade. There are amazing artisans who create gorgeous unique jewelry and decorative pieces for the
home that will take their breath away. You can always go browsing for wallpaper art. For instance, if you have a
friend or a family member who has a thing for Rick and Morty or is a huge fan of Stranger Things, you can
always make them ecstatically happy with a custom-made print. If you have a photography enthusiast in your
circle, one of the hottest gifts now is definitely something from the new range of instant cameras and film from
Polaroid Originals. There are also gorgeous socks that feature everyone from Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso to
Frida Kahlo and Vincent van Gogh and you can get them at Chatty Feet’s Artists Sock Collection. This would
definitely be a very welcome twist on the boring Christmas socks gift. Finally, something that’s useful, funny
and great for pop culture loving females – hilarious period panties featuring references from all the most iconic
TV shows and movies. If this doesn’t win you points for creativity, we don’t know what will.

The fashionista

Given that some of the hottest trends right now revolve around basically anything that comes in red, plaid
pattern – everything from an over-sized red sweater to red tights with polka dots or a checkered clutch and
even scarf will be a home-run. None of these items will cost you a fortune, but will make your fashionista
extremely happy.

The bookworms

Ok, this is a tough crowd but there is something you can do to make them happy. See, with book lovers you
can’t risk it by purchasing titles that are new and you think they might like them. Instead of taking the
unfamiliar route, turn to classics. Every true book lover appreciates a good classic, whether it’s one that
belongs to the true sense of the word like something by Jane Austen or cult classics like Fight Club. The catch
here is to buy a hard copy, preferably one with a great cover art. Penguin has amazing editions that will have
every bookworm squeal with joy, and Vintage books are great with minimalistic covers.

The frequent flyer

When shopping for someone who’s always on the go and already has the next three trips all planned out, the
best thing you can gift them is a plane survival kit. This can contain anything from moisturizer to
noise-cancelling headphones, a sleep mask, a little tote for their travel documents, ChapStick, hand sanitizer.
This is a thoughtful gift that shows that you’ve put thought into it but is also super-practical.

Mia Taylor is a fashion and beauty enthusiast from Sydney and writer for She loves writing about her life experiences. Travelling and enjoying other cultures and their food with her husband is a big part of her life. She is always on the lookout for new trends in fashion and beauty, and considers herself an expert when it comes to lifestyle tips.
Twitter | Facebook
Having an event? Invite us 

Twitter: @hautepeople
Instagram @haute_people

STING for Shaggy & friends 2018

Friday, December 8, 2017
Shaggy gives his official welcome

One Ticket = 1 life is the tagline for the biennial charity event Shaggy & Friends. 

Just like that! The 6th staging of Shaggy & Friends was last Wednesday launched at the Bustamante Hospital for Children in Kingston. 

The event organized by the diamond-selling international reggae artiste Orville "Shaggy" Burrell and co-produced by his wife Rebecca Packer-Burrell and friends through his Shaggy Make A Difference Foundation will make it's way to the lawns of Jamaica House, St. Andrew on January 6, 2018.

Shaggy & Friends is the vehicle through which the organization keeps it's pledge to meaningfully partner with and assist the Bustamante Hospital for Children where proceeds from the show will go towards increasing the beds in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). There are currently 5 beds in the ICU which is not enough as 150 patients are admitted annually and the Bustamante Hospital for Children Pediatric Intensive Care Unit is the only one of it's kind in the English speaking Caribbean.

This year the goal is to raise USD$100,000,000 for more beds for the ICU at the hospital and to do this Shaggy has invited a few of his friends to perform as with previous years of the event.

The event boasts an exciting line-up of International and local artistes which include: STING, Wyclef Jean, Fetty Wap, Bunji Garlin and Fay-Ann Lyons, Christopher Martin, Aidonia, Dexta Daps, Junior Reid, Shenseea, Barrington Levy, Third World, Chaka Demus & Pliers, Capleton, Professor Nuts, Wayne Wonder and Shaggy himself.
Shaggy expressed that he is "super excited and humbled" at being given the wonderful opportunity to significantly make a difference. " We are as committed to this project as we were when we first staged Shaggy & Friends in 2009. If anything, the fire is burning even brighter. This project has taken over a part of my life and I wouldn't have it any other way. It is a great experience to be able to partner with our patrons, sponsors, other organizations and dedicated individuals to save the lives of children- our future. Again, I must commend the caring doctors and nurses at Bustamante Hospital for Children, who work tirelessly to perform their duties, regardless of the circumstances," Shaggy declared.
Sponsors of the event include: Scotiabank, Wisynco-Wata, Stewarts Automotive Group, KFC- Restaurants of Jamaica, Lasco, The Atlas Group, Phoenix Printery, Jacqui Tyson- From Thought to Finish, Rainforest Seafoods, Jamaica Broilers, Zoukie's, Team Solutions. Media Partners: BrandProfit, It's Pixel Perfect, Jamaica Observer, Market Me, Moonstone Blue, Phase 3 and The RJR Group.

See highlights of the event as captured by our talented Photographer Dale Stephenson of Dale Stephenson Photography.

François P. Chalifour - Director of Marketing & Product Development

Mrs. Chalifour and Shaggy share a moment after she donates USD$30,000 

Chef extraordinaire and decor specialist, Jacqui Tyson of From Thought to Finish & Shaggy

VP Marketing , Public and Corporate Affairs - Scotia Bank, Yanique Forbes- Patrick

VP Marketing , Public and Corporate Affairs - Scotia Bank, Yanique Forbes- Patrick  & Shaggy are all smiles after a
JMD$5 million Dollars donation

Head of the Dept. of Anesthesia and Intensive Care Bustamante Hospital for Children - Dr. Brian James

Doctor and Nurse at the Bustamante Hospital for Children

Ms. Audrey Spence mother of former ICU patient Ray-Marc Robinson

From left: Ms. Audrey Spence , Ray-Marc Robinson and Shaggy

From left: Comedian Fancy Cat, Dancer/D.J Ding Dong, Shaggy and Pliers

Chef extraordinaire and decor specialist, Jacqui Tyson of From Thought to Finish

Representative of Guardian Group who will be proving Risk Insurance for the event

Closing remarks from Sancia Bennett- Templer (left) and consultant paediatrician Dr Lambert Innis (centre) and Jacqui Tyson

Volunteers of the Shaggy Make A Difference Foundation

Shaggy (third left) share a moment with, From left: Mrs. Chalifour, Yanique Forbes- Patrick, Ms Audrey Spence and Madison Burrell and Ray-Marc Robinson

Photo Credits

Dale Stephenson | Dale Stephenson Photography

Dale's Instagram

Photos are the property of Dale Stephenson and The Haute Lifestyle | No Swiping!!

Contact us for use of these Photos |

Having an event? Invite us 

Twitter: @hautepeople
Instagram @haute_people