Sands China Launches F&B Talent Series

Sands China Ltd. is holding the Sands China Academy – Fostering Collaboration to Incubate F&B Talent Series Wednesday through Friday, aimed at nurturing quality local talent in support of Macao’s position as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy.

Supported by the Macao Labour Affairs Bureau (DSAL) and the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), the series hopes to attract and nurture Macao young talent to the food and beverage industry and to inspire them to explore careers as chefs, as talent in the sector is currently in high demand in the local market. Over a third of the series’ participants – more than 60 – are industry representatives from outside of Sands China, including those from the Macao Federation of Trade Unions, young local chefs, local students and representatives from academia.

As part of the series, the company held a kick-off ceremony for its Creative City of Gastronomy – Master Chef Culinary Exchange Series & Food and Beverage Management Programme Thursday at Sands Cotai Central.

“Sands China is committed to nurturing food and beverage talents for the whole of Macao through various programmes, including this latest culinary exchange series with master chefs from the mainland,” said Dr. Wilfred Wong, president of Sands China Ltd. “We are grateful for the support of the Five-Star Chef Alliance, the Macao Labour Affairs Bureau and the Macao Government Tourism Office, and we hope that this platform for knowledge exchange can support the initiatives of the Macao government and help cultivate talents in the restaurant industry.”

Sands China has invited celebrity chef Zhou Xiaoyan and his team of 20 master chefs to share their culinary expertise with local chefs, including those at Sands China, and with local university students and industry representatives Nov. 20-22. It is the first time for celebrity chefs from Five-Star Chef Alliance to visit Macao for this type of top-level culinary exchange.

Master chefs work one-on-one with Sands China chefs to exchange ideas and to design creative dishes on the theme of “Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Macao’s Return to the Motherland.” The visiting chefs will also participate in a friendly cooking competition, and give masterclasses for students at the Institute for Tourism Studies and the Macau University of Science and Technology.

At the Nov. 21 kick-off ceremony, Sands China launched its new Food and Beverage Talent Development Programme in cooperation with the Labour Affairs Bureau. Throughout a 12-24 month training, candidates complete an on-the-job practicum at Michelin-starred, Black Pearl or other restaurants, obtaining certification by world-famous food and beverage associations, and eventually becoming restaurant assistant managers at Sands China.  Sands China also appointed Zhou as the company’s consultant for culinary talent development, who led a seminar with nearly 300 participants after the kick-off ceremony.

Zhou said: “Food plays an essential role in Chinese culture, and it is one of our nation’s biggest cultural exports. It is an honour to have been invited by Sands China to participate in this culinary exchange with chefs and to share my experience with young talent in Macao, as we develop closer ties and collaborations in the development of the Greater Bay Area. In the future, Macao will be able take advantage of its position as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy to promote Chinese food culture to the whole world.”

A master chef known as the “Godfather of Huaiyang Cuisine,” Zhou has been invited to dozens of countries and regions around the world, including the United States, Germany, and Switzerland to conduct academic exchanges on Chinese cooking techniques and food culture.

Thursday’s kick-off event was attended by officiating guests below: Zhu Hong, deputy director general of the Economic Affairs Department of the Central People’s Government Liaison Office of the Macao Special Administrative Region; Dr. Fanny Vong, president of Institute for Tourism Studies; Cheung Wai, head of the vocational training department of the Labour Affairs Bureau; Ines Chan, head of the licensing and inspection department of the Macao Government Tourism Office; Chan Ioc Sut, head of the research and investigation department of the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau; Xu Ye, assistant professor at Macau University of Science and Technology; Zhou Xiaoyan; Chio Pou Wan, vice president of the Macau Federation of Trade Unions; Jacky Lam, chairman of the Macao Cuisine Association; and Dr. Wong.

The additional events in the series on Nov. 22 are masterclasses for students at the Institute for Tourism Studies and the Macau University of Science and Technology, and the 2019 Sands China Master Chef Culinary Competition between three teams: the Five-Star Chef Alliance, the award-winning Macao team from the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Vocational Skills Competition, and a team of Sands China chefs. Judges include representatives from the Labour Affairs Bureau, MGTO, Sands China, and the local food and beverage industry.

Cheung Wai (left), head of the vocational training department of the Labour Affairs Bureau and Dr. Wilfred Wong, president of Sands China Ltd. jointly launch Sands China’s new Food and Beverage Talent Development Programme in cooperation with the Labour Affairs Bureau.

Sands China has nearly 5,000 team members working in food and beverage. The company’s new Sands China Academy – Fostering Collaboration to Incubate F&B Talent Series is part of its effort to help Macao’s food and beverage industry talent to continually improve, in support of the development of Macao as a Creative City of Gastronomy.