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In a country where culinary arts are celebrated as a vibrant part of the nation's cultural fabric, a partnership is flourishing between the Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje (INA) and the Clubhouse at Prieta Beach. This collaboration is shaping the future of culinary talent and transforming the lives of aspiring chefs.
By Danielle Finnegan | May 20, 2024 | Guanacaste
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Two years ago, the Clubhouse embarked on a groundbreaking journey with INA, the national technical education training institute. Together, they launched a dual education program to provide students with a comprehensive culinary education. Half their time is spent honing their skills in the Club’s kitchens, while the other half is dedicated to theoretical learning at INA.

This innovative approach has yielded remarkable results, with approximately 40 students graduating from the program to date. The hands-on experience gained at the Clubhouse and theoretical knowledge from INA equips these graduates with a solid foundation for success in the culinary world.

But the partnership doesn’t end there. Recognizing the importance of professional certification, the Clubhouse at Prieta Beach took it further by certifying five chefs and line cooks as cooking mentors or trainers through INA. This validates their expertise and serves as a source of motivation for the entire culinary team.

Beyond the academic realm, the partnership supports students’ daily needs. From transportation to medical insurance, the partnership ensures students can focus on their training without financial worries. This investment in their well-being reflects a genuine desire to see them succeed.

The graduation ceremony last month, on April 25th, marked a significant milestone in this journey. Students underwent rigorous theoretical and practical tests, certified by INA professors in the Club’s kitchens. The impact of this collaboration reverberates far beyond the confines of the Clubhouse’s kitchen. Many graduates have stayed on since graduating, enriching the team with their newfound skills and enthusiasm. It’s a testament to the program’s effectiveness in nurturing talent and fostering long-term relationships.

“Through our partnership with INA, we’re not only creating great meals but also empowering individuals to carve their own culinary path and career,” says Chef Miguel Canon, the Clubhouse’s Executive Chef.

As Costa Rica’s tourism industry continues to grow, initiatives like these serve as beacons of progress. By bridging the gap between industry and education, the Clubhouse at Prieta Beach and INA are shaping the culinary industry’s future and empowering individuals to pursue their passions and realize their dreams.

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