Haile Primus’ Journey to Culinary Success

Basseterre, St. Kitts (14 September 2022) – Our nationals continue to achieve tremendous accolades on the international stage. Haile Primus maintains a proven track record of success within the culinary industry. Mr. Primus, CFBC alumni, has completed a six-week internship program with renowned Chef Pino Luongo at his newly opened restaurant—Coco Shack. The program was facilitated by the St. Kitts Tourism Authority (SKTA) and served as part of its comprehensive human capital strategy for the tourism industry. The SKTA is pleased to announce that Haile has secured full-time employment at Coco Shack in New York City, owing to his extraordinary performance as an intern.

In 2019, the St. Kitts Tourism Authority and St. Kitts and Nevis Restaurant Week Committee and Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College introduced a culinary internship program for students in the Culinary Arts division. Five students under the tutelage of Mr. Peter Marshall, Culinary Lecturer and Executive Chef at CFBC, and Ms. Marsha Bassue, Director of Hospitality at CFBC, worked alongside Chef Pino Luongo and Chef Verral Marshall at the “Chef Pino’s Special Brunch” event, which was held at Marshall’s Restaurant.

Chef Pino met with the students on multiple occasions and worked closely with the College to receive updates on the student’s academic performances. In early 2020, Chef Pino returned to the island to meet with the students and the lecturers at Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College. During this meeting, Haile Primus was selected as one of the successful candidates for the internship based in New York City.

“I truly appreciate the confidence the SKTA and CFBC showed in me by granting this internship. Having been mentored by culinary legends Chef Pino Luongo and Chef David Camara, I was provided real hands-on experience and knowledge of various cuisine styles in a global and profound city. I am excited to begin my professional culinary career as a full-time employee at Coco Shack. I am grateful to my family, friends, the SKTA, past professors, and well-wishers for their continued support,” shared Mr. Primus.

Chief Executive Officer of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, Ellison “Tommy” Thompson, said that the St. Kitts Tourism Authority has a strong interest in developing human capital for the tourism industry.

“We at the SKTA are especially proud of Haile for securing this major opportunity to hone his skills with one of the world’s top chefs,” said Thompson, “Our youths are the future of tourism, and it is important that we offer the necessary opportunities to enhance their skill set and further expand their knowledge and experience within all aspects of our dynamic tourism sector. Haile’s ability to build excellent rapport with his colleagues during the tenure of his internship has afforded him an opportunity of a lifetime. He has raised the bar for aspiring culinary professionals on the island by demonstrating hard work, discipline, and commitment.”

“A key component of attaining success is sustaining the passion that fuels you,” shared Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Melnecia Marshall. “Haile’s appetite for knowledge that his past professors’ references are a huge asset and contributor to his recent success of securing full-time employment at Coco Shack in one of the world’s greatest cities. The potential of our local students sees no boundaries, thus making it extremely important for not only the Authority but for stakeholders and associated partners to invest by creating more opportunities to strengthen and diversify our local workforce,” said DCEO Marshall.

The Authority intends to continue its partnership with Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College to create national and international internship opportunities for local students. Hospitality and Culinary students are encouraged to stay focused and driven to maximize their chances of securing similar opportunities as Mr. Primus.

About Chef Giuseppe “Pino” Luongo
Chef Pino is an American-based Italian restaurateur and owns some of New York’s leading-class restaurants, including Coco Pazzo, Coco Pazzo Trattoria, Coco Shack, and Morso. Chef Pino was also a mentor to the late Anthony Bourdain, an acclaimed celebrity chef. Through his restaurants, he has earned a loyal following among foodies, celebrities, and locals in New York, the Hamptons, and Chicago.

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