Chef Wenford Patrick Simpson, or better known as Chef Patrick, grew-up cooking for his younger sister. Now, after a career filled with all sorts of accomplishments and awards, he is still cooking for kids. On July 30th, Chef Patrick will perform a cooking demonstration for the 27 teenagers participating in the Cardinal Shehan Center’s 2018 Culinary Arts / Hospitality / Entrepreneurial Young Adulthood Program, funded by the Mayor’s Youth Initiative.
Chef Patrick was raised in Jamaica, where he perfected the Caribbean flair that he is best known for. He started his professional culinary career in high school as an intern and was offered a job after graduation. He has worked in kitchens on both land and sea, and from the Caribbean to New York City. Simpson has worked for luxury resorts, such as Sandals in the Caribbean; as a Sous Chef for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and Disney Cruise Line; and as an Executive Chef at upscale restaurants such Negril Village, B.B. King Blues Club and Grill, and The Howard Theatre in Washington D.C. If you can’t find time to visit one of the many restaurants where you can taste one of Chef Patrick’s creations then try watching his show, “Cook-Up with Chef Patrick” on TEMPO Network.
Chef Patrick’s passion for cooking grew out of a need as a child to learn how to prepare meals for his sister and himself when the fridge was bare. His understanding of the realities and difficulties of food insecurity motivated him to establish a culinary school, Simpson Culinary Institute, in his hometown of Ocho Rios. Simpson’s hope is to educate and inspire others to follow a career path similar to the one he is on. His desire is to give back to the people of Ocho Rios.
Under Chef Patrick’s guidance, the Shehan Center teens will prepare a meal that they will also get to enjoy. The Culinary Arts / Hospitality / Entrepreneurial Young Adulthood Program is designed to introduce teenagers to careers in the culinary arts and hospitality industries. Participants listen to speakers, take field trips and learn about different types of jobs, social etiquette, resumes, paychecks and taxes, money management and personal finances, and educational opportunities. Threaded throughout the program are hands-on lessons on meal preparation and planning.
About the Cardinal Shehan Center
Founded in 1962 and located at 1494 Main Street, Bridgeport, the Cardinal Shehan Center’s mission is to enrich the lives of youth through learning. The Shehan Center has a rich tradition of offering Bridgeport area youth a clean, safe environment with opportunities to grow intellectually and physically; to become responsible, caring members of their community; to build independence and to develop a sense of belonging.
The Shehan Center offers a variety of programs for youth including an After School & Saturday Program, basketball leagues, a Summer Day Camp, Physical Education classes to local schools and more.
In addition, the Shehan Center offers tutoring as well as other enrichment programs and experiences such as JWC Girls Zone Program, Leadership Program, Counselor-in-Training, sailing, karate, swimming, art, cooking, rugby, and more. Call (203)336-4468, visit shehancenter.org or find us at facebook.com/shehancenter1494 for more information.