After her graduation from ABHTI, Lana became an apprentice pastry chef at Curtain Bluff Hotel under master pastry chef Mark Smith, and began working with a talented pastry team. Four years later, in 2012, she was awarded a scholarship from the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF) and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide to attend the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in New York City. There she enrolled in two cake decoration classes, Cake Decoration 1 & 2, Cake Pops (miniature cake forms styled as a lollipop), and Techniques of Chocolate 1. She learned to make meringue butter cream, to do piping string work on a faux cake, and to make and colour marzipan fruits, among many other delectable things. She says the cake pops were delicious, and very simple to make – cake crumbs mixed with a binder of her choice such as chocolate ganache or lemon curd, and formed onto a lollipop stick. In Techniques of Chocolate 1, she was taught the correct temperatures for tempering dark, milk and white chocolate, and to make a variety of chocolate confections. In that class she was surrounded by chocolate, and the only negative of the course was that she was tempted to eat far too much of it.
Earlier this year Lana was lucky enough to return to the Institute of Culinary Education, and this time she was even more ambitious. Her class signup was for Brioche & Croissant, Cupcakes Unlimited, One week Wedding Cake Workshop, and Pulled and Blown Sugar. There is no end in sight for this enterprising young lady. Our only question is, what will she do next year?
Lana acknowledges that she has been helped greatly in her career as a pastry chef by the two scholarships from CHTAEF and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, and by her association with Rob Sherman, Mark Smith, Christopher Eastmond, Chelle Hulford and the pastry team at Curtain Bluff, whose support and encouragement, she says, made all the difference.