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AJEEN BECKFORD BIO.
My name is Ajeen Beckford, and I am currently the head chef and restaurant manager at the Our Past Time Beach Resort – a boutique hotel on the famed 7-mile beach of Negril, Jamaica. Working at a boutique establishment has given me the chance to manage a team and develop an attractive menu that caters to a diverse clientele. And after just 8 months, my team and I were awarded the Millennium Golden Award for Outstanding Establishment in Catering (in the Hospitality Industry) by the Trade Leaders Club of Madrid, Spain. After 10 years of experience in the field of culinary arts as well as a unique mix of working opportunities, I hope to broaden by knowledge and strengthen my skills to be granted other opportunities to work with interested restaurants and culinary colleges in Italy and France. I am scheduled to compete in several culinary competitions that include the highly anticipated, Culinary Federation of American Competition, the Singapore Cook Off, the Asia Culinary and Hospitality Expo, and local and regional competitions. And I am especially looking forward to the potential opportunity to showcase my culinary skills and participate in a great learning experience at the Annual Canadian Food Festival.
I was inspired to pursue a cooking career at the age of 15 while working at a small hotel, Morgan’s Harbor, in Kingston, Jamaica. After high school, I continued as cook at Morgan’s Harbor, and soon after completed a 6-month contract as a commis chef on a cruise ship. It developed into a great learning opportunity, and after 3 months, I was promoted to range leader. Following my time on the cruise ship, I returned to Jamaica and started working with event and wedding planners. I soon traveled to Barbados to work as a junior sous chef and enrolled in the International Hospitality Institute and completed a degree course in culinary chef management and professional cooking. After a successful 2 ½ years in Barbados, I competed with 64 chefs and was awarded runner-up, 2007 Chef of the Caribbean. My culinary achievements allowed me to take on positions as kitchen supervisor at the gourmet restaurant of the all-inclusive, Couples Swept Away resort, head chef at the luxury all-inclusive, Moon Dance Cliffs, and personal chef for former boxer Lennox Lewis at the Tryall Club in Montego Bay. After 2 years at Tryall, I decided to work on my own and develop my skills by writing recipes, visiting colleges and restaurants, and learning from top chefs in the Caribbean region. After much success, I was awarded distinguished Jamaican Chef in 2008.
My skills and experience has brought my career to Our Past Time. While the restaurant continues to be a work in progress, I enjoy contributing to the recent success of the hotel and developing an effective and attractive establishment.
WHAT EVER TASTE GOOD