College pair prepare Valentine’s Day treat

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  • Food of love: Bermuda College culinary art students Kalen Mills, 20 and Tikei Swan, 18, with their shrimp and steak creation and romantic cocktail for Valentine’s Day (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Food of love: Bermuda College culinary art students Kalen Mills, 20 and Tikei Swan, 18, with their shrimp and steak creation and romantic cocktail for Valentine’s Day (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

  • Bermuda College culinary art students Kalen Mills, 20 and Tikei Swan, 18, were given free rein to design Valentine’s menus, cocktails and mochtails at Rosa’s Cantina (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Bermuda College culinary art students Kalen Mills, 20 and Tikei Swan, 18, were given free rein to design Valentine’s menus, cocktails and mochtails at Rosa’s Cantina (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

  • Bermuda College culinary art students Kalen Mills, 20 and Tikei Swan, 18, with their shrimp and steak creation and romantic cocktail for Valentine’s Day (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Bermuda College culinary art students Kalen Mills, 20 and Tikei Swan, 18, with their shrimp and steak creation and romantic cocktail for Valentine’s Day (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

  • Bermuda College culinary art students Kalen Mills, 20 and Tikei Swan, 18 (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Bermuda College culinary art students Kalen Mills, 20 and Tikei Swan, 18 (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)


A pair of culinary arts students have poured their hearts into creating the perfect dish for Valentine’s Day.

Tikei Swan and Kalen Mills, who both study at Bermuda College, were given free rein to come up with a menu item and signature drink for Rosa’s Cantina.

Ms Swan, 18, said: “We made a his and hers dish. It’s called ‘Just the Two of Us’. It’s a medley of shrimp and steak together with garlic mashed potatoes and broccolini with a red wine jus.

The Southampton resident added: “I’m really excited. Kalen and I had been talking about it for a few weeks, how we wanted to go about it, and we put a lot of thought into it.”

Mr Mills, 20, added: “It’s been a good challenge for us to really be able to express our talents and showcase our skills.”

As she was peeling the shrimp, Ms Swan realised they made a heart shape and she knew she was on to a winner after figuring out how to make them stay together.

Mr Mills, from Pembroke, explained that they also came up with the “In Between Sheets” cocktail with Ciroc Red Berry Vodka, Sprite and Triple Sec.

It is garnished with mint, blueberries and a lime wheel and will also be available in a non-alcoholic version.

Ms Swan, a first-year culinary arts student, started working part-time at the restaurant as a waitress in August and Mr Mills, who is in his second year, started as a part-time bartender in September.

He now works in the kitchen, helping with prep work and caterings, to learn all aspects of running a restaurant.

Both are guided by restaurant manager Kara Simmons, who decided the time was right to let them try their hand at creating their own menu item for the restaurant’s Valentine’s Day menu.

Ms Simmons said: “We wanted to give them a platform to show what they had learnt in their first year of culinary school and because that’s how I learnt, I wanted to reach back to them.”

Ms Swan said: “When Kara asked me, I was really, really excited. I wanted an opportunity and I didn’t think that she believed in us like that until she actually showed it and asked us.”

She added: “We were a little bit stressed but it came out nice. I was very excited when I put it on social media because everyone was like, ‘Wow, this looks amazing, you guys did a great job’.

“It really solidified it when everyone else was really excited as we were. Everyone has just been really supportive and sharing. It’s been nice.”

The pair will be busy with prep work today and are looking forward to serving up their creation, which will be available until Sunday.

Ms Swan said: “I’m going to be working tomorrow on the floor as a waitress, so I’m going to be pushing it.”

Mr Mills will be working in the kitchen and said he is a “little bit nervous” ahead of the big day.

He added: “I’m going to be showcasing it to our friends and families to come to Rosa’s and support us through social media because that’s one of the biggest outlets for us as teenagers.

Ms Simmons said it had been a good experience for the students, who both want to own their own restaurants.

She added: “To see them take initiative and come out of their shell has been something we can all get excited about.

“It’s been great to see their ambition, their focus, their drive. It was amazing to see and we are happy to feature it at Rosa’s.”

For the Valentine’s Day menu at Rosa’s Cantina, click on the PDF link under “Related Media”

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Published Feb 14, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 14, 2018 at 7:12 am)

College pair prepare Valentine’s Day treat

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