For Strathmore Centre for Tourism and Hospitality, it was an eventful week as host of the one-week International Hospitality Seminar which kicked off on 9th September, in collaboration with the main sponsors, Nestle Pro Gastronomia Foundation whose main objective is to promote the training of trainers in the hospitality industry including restaurants, hotels and tourism, worldwide, giving special attention to developing countries; and Limmat Foundation whose mission is endeavoring to stimulate, encourage and support initiatives which serve the common good.
To grace this inaugural event, was a series of high - profile speakers with vast knowledge and experience in hospitality sector. They included: Christian Perrette, Executive Director of the Nestle Pro Gastronomia Foundation, Patricia E. Siwajek, Health, Nutrition and Wellness Global Champion, Juan J. Alarcon, Project Director of Limmat Foundation, Mr. Mahmud Janmohamed, Managing Director of the Serena Hotels and Mr. Paul Ouma, Director of Family Business program at Strathmore Business School. The university auditorium was full-house with participants drawn from across the hospitality institutions and industry practitioners from Nigeria, Uganda, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Philippines, India, South Africa and Kenya.
To set the ball rolling after registration, Vice Chancellor Prof. John Odhiambo, in his opening remarks, emphasized that hospitality is a unique sector which requires leadership and strategy as a major foreign exchange earner for Kenya, and that Strathmore University was honoured to host a forum that would see significant strides made in this regard.
The main themes of the seminar, leadership and nutrition were discussed at length by other speakers including Christian Perrette, the Executive Director of Nestle Pro Gastronomia Foundation, Mr. Juan J. Alarcon, Project Director Limmat, and there was an open forum by Mr. Mahmud Janmohamed, Managing Director, Serena Hotels.
From Left: Juan J. Alarcon, Patricia Siwajek and Christian Perrette
Patricia Siwajek enlightened the audience on the importance of nutrition in hospitality, meeting the consumer nutrition needs, food safety and allergies and serving healthy menus. Hospitality institutions from Nigeria, Philippines, Ivory Coast, India, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria presented their best practices. Case studies were used to ensure in-depth discussions on crucial topics such as strategic planning and social project design, team leading and teamwork and stress management.
Out of the ordinary conference schedules, Wednesday proved to be not only an educative day but a fun-filled one as seminar participants made a trip to the Nestle Factory, to discuss with a practical aspect, serving healthy menus and spent the afternoon in game drives at Nairobi National Park, showcasing Kenya’s tourism sector to the international participants.
The entire week was a great success with detailed planning and excellent and flawless execution; all turned out well. The participants had ample time to bond with others present and exchange ideas during coffee and lunch breaks.
CTH students had an opportunity to showcase their well honed hospitality skills from the sleek maroon uniforms that they adorned, to arrangement of cutlery, food served and how they carried themselves around guests, was a clear indication of their mastery on hospitality course work.
The students also had a chance to participate in the interactive and lively discussions with the participants leaving no doubt that they soaked in every detail the inspiring speakers had to offer. There was always a mouthwatering snack on the table to keep the participants alert and entertained.
The seminar was fruitful and a well done job by everyone involved.