PSC Hospitality students intern in Hawaii

Hospitality
Potomac State College of West Virginia University Students Amanda Bennett (left) and Lasidi Helmick chose the world-renowned Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, in Maui, Hawaii to complete their Hospitality and Tourism internships

By Debi Swick-Cruse

Amanda Bennett and Lasidi Helmick met while enrolled in the Hospitality and Tourism Program at Potomac State College of West Virginia University. They soon became fast-friends as they peeled, poached, braised, and cooked their way through exotic dishes, so it’s no surprise that they decided to do their internship together at the world-renowned Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, in Maui, Hawaii.  

Bennett and Helmick began their internships in May 2012. Some of their duties included catering weddings, and food and wine tastings as well as various other events. When asked, “Why Hawaii?” Bennett replied, “We didn’t need a passport to get there and – why not? It’s Hawaii!”  

Bennett worked as a garde manger chef and according to gardemanger.com, “Garde Manger is considered by many to be the most demanding station/job in any kitchen. Garde Manger Chefs must be experts at seasoning, poaching, simmering, searing, roasting, frying, curing, drying, smoking, marinating, grinding, pureeing, forming, molding, piping, spreading, slicing, cutting, carving, rolling, crimping, tossing, and finally presenting. Garde Mangers need to be able to apply proper seasoning to food that is going to be served cold, and in other cases, season food that is going to be served hot. Many chefs have the ability to season hot food, but lack the ability to season both correctly.”

“It was a little overwhelming when I first arrived,” said Bennett, “but Chef Thomas’ classes really prepared me for the fast-paced work the Ritz-Carlton had me doing.”

Helmick returned home after completing her internship; however, Bennett was offered and accepted full-time employment in Hawaii. “I would encourage other students in the hospitality field to do their internships at a location they would like to explore and possibly live someday,” said Bennett.