Cooking from scratch - Hotel steward lands job in restaurant
"It doesn't matter where you start. What matters is where you end up, and that is up to you," said Royno Ricketts, a 27-year-old cook at Sandals Negril.
Sounds potent, doesn't it? It probably sounds as though he took it straight from a book written by Aristotle, Plato, or Socrates. Well, Ricketts is no philosopher, but his own experience is more than proof of his profound quote.
A few months ago, you would have seen him walking around the resort clad as a steward, pushing bins, washing pots, and cleaning kitchens. He did it all with vigour. He could not stop himself from singing while he worked, much to the delight of his audience, which always happened to be his fellow team members.
In fact, he quickly grew famous on the resort for the slang 'Sandals noice'.
Now, the ardent employee is no longer a steward but a cook in the very prestigious Kimonos Restaurant at Sandals Negril. Kimonos is a Teppanyaki-style Japanese restaurant.
"I never imagined that I would be working as a chef. I used to have my mind set on becoming a top man in the stewarding department," he said.
Ricketts said that although he was always hanging around the kitchen and watching his chef colleagues as they went about their daily routines, he never quite thought about it until the then executive chef and the stewarding manager approached him.
He then embarked on intense training that lasted for six months, coming in on his days off and working before and after his sanitation shifts.
"We had him train in the different areas of the kitchen so he would become well rounded. Before placing him in Kimonos, we had him on the lunch station, and, after observing him for some time, we realised that he is a natural entertainer," said Ramone Jackson, the then executive sous chef.
Gradually getting the hang of things, Ricketts said that he is happy to be in Kimonos.
"For now, Kimonos is really the right place for me. I am naturally talented, and me born to go in front of people. Every day, I try to make the food as nice as my rhymes because the food is the most important thing. Me nice up everything for the guests," he said.