Ms Dzifa Abla Gomashie, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, has advised students of Hospitality and Tourism Management of the Ho Polytechnic, to begin very modest food joints based on local cuisines.
“Get off you high horses, don’t think too highly when life is about to start.
You need not be in a five-star hotel,” she advised.
Ms Gomashie gave the advice as the Guest Speaker of the First National Food Hygiene and Sanitation Conference, organized by the Ho Polytechnic under the theme: “Food Hygiene, Sanitation and Safety in the Post MDG Era.”
She said many successful entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry, especially culinary, began on very modest scales with their own very little capitals.
Ms Gomashie referred to Mrs Bella Ahu, Chief Executive Officer of Traffix Catering Services, a product of Ho Polytechnic, who began on a very small-scale, and grew into a giant in the industry.
She said she herself began as a small-scale cooked food seller, focusing on local dishes with some of her relatives lending helping hands.
Ms Gomashie admonished the students to have the humility to learn under those already in the industry, “otherwise I am afraid…”
They should be ready to offer services to people organizing events without expecting to be paid, adding that this way they would learn things not in the books.
Ms Gomashie was critical of lack of literature on local foods and dishes, and queried: “Food is our culture but which institutions are studying the benefits of our foods, who, is researching and studying local foods?”
Processes of preparing local foods must be reduced into writing for generations to follow, because food security also meant the ability to prepare local foods, she said.
Ms Gomashie asked the Tourism and Hospitality Management Department of the Polytechnic to organize periodic workshops for local caterers on how to dress local dishes for attractiveness.
“You should also interact with food vendors in your communities,” she told the students.
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