School, Our Owner and Our Team
About Our School
During a three-year trip to Jamaica, Melanie observed that many persons she encountered from, various Caribbean islands could not prepare a decent, hearty meal. Upon returning to Barbados, she combined her love of cooking with her ability to explain and lead to start children cooking classes in the kitchen of her St. Philip home on Saturday, July 7th, 2018 under the name of “Melanie Trotman School of Cooking.” Students comprised of children ages seven to fourteen. These classes not only taught students cooking and baking skills, but also kitchen safety, food safety and how to attend to simple cuts and burns which might occur in the kitchen. Overall, Melanie strived to make her students less dependent on their parents to prepare meals. As interest in the school grew, the decision was made to relocate the school to the parish of St. Michael. The school was officially relocated November 1st, 2019. The school continued its Saturday children’s classes and even added additional days during the week. In June 2020 the school held its first adult’s cooking class, called Caribbean Cooking, Part I. Shortly following this the school expanded to adult doughnut-making classes. In October 2020, Melanie found that the business needed a change and so renamed and rebranded the under the name “Accent Kitchen.” Accent Kitchen aims to make children and adults alike independent and skilled in the culinary arts while maintaining a family-like relationship with all of its students. As the island and the world continued to battle the Covid-19 pandemic, the school found that it needed to do more to help its community and to assist persons with their self-development. There in November 2020, the school made it mandatory for all students to take part in a quarterly give-back initiative. This initiative had first been done in the form of a Children’s Christmas Charity workshop, in December 2018. However, this event was optional for students. Under the name Accent Kitchen, the cooking school carried out a feeding program on Sunday, November 8th, 2020 in association with the Barbados Vagrant Society. To assist in the personal culinary development of local Barbadians, the school launched its New Year, New Skill initiative. With this initiative, the school began to offer new evening classes for adults in January 2021.
About the Owner
I am Melanie Trotman, the owner of Accent Kitchen and a young entrepreneur. I was born in the beautiful island of Barbados and raised in the community at Allen View St. Thomas. My passion for cooking started at the age of eight when I found myself standing in my kitchen with a bag of English potatoes in one hand, and a bottle of oil, box of matches and some Maggie cubes in the other hand. I will never forget the day! My father owned and still owns a small business venture attached to my home. On that particular day, my childhood best friend had come over to spend the afternoon, but my dad was way too busy to prep a meal for us. He called us into the shop, put ingredients in our hands and escorted us to the kitchen. He demonstrated how to light the stove, gave us instructions on how to make fries and went off back to his business. That day my best friend and I had some extremely salty Maggie cube French fries. **Chuckle** After that, I started experimenting in the kitchen. My mum taught me how to do mashed potatoes and so I made Maggie cube mashed potatoes until she eventually taught me how to make butter gravy. Trial and error! Trial and error! In third form at St. Winifred’s School, I picked up the Food and Nutrition class. My teacher often caught me straying away from the recipe she gave the class. But what can I say? I had taught myself thus far through experimenting and I could not help it. Despite this, I learnt the importance of food, kitchen safety, the importance of proper nutrition and the effects of eating too much or too little. Over the years, I have further learnt skills and recipes from my mother, recipe books, videos and of course, experimentation. My school is very important to me because I need to share my knowledge. Not “want to”, “need to.” I strive to do this in a fun interactive way since most persons see cooking and baking as a chore and time-consuming. Cooking can be fun! My students know that.
About Our Team
Hello, I am Shenice Benjamin. I have been working with cakes and pastries, casually, from a young age and professionally for 5 years in the hotel sector. I completed studies at the Barbados Community College, The Barbados Vocational Training Board and the Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity. I am passionate about learning about the newest pastry trends and experimenting with recipes and want to pass the knowledge I have gained over the years onto others so that they too can improve themselves.
My name is Runisha Harper. I have been baking from around the age of eight and as years went by I developed a love for icing cakes; I am mostly self-thought. I attended the Samuel Jackson Prescod Institute of Technology (SJPP) where I studied catering skills for one year. I then attended the Barbados Community College Hospitality Institute (BCCHI), where I then studied Baking Technology for one year. The reason for me to teach is to share my love for baking and icing cakes to others.
My name is Shari Carter. I attended the Barbados Community College, Hospitality Institute where I did my Associates Degree in Culinary Arts. I love baking and cooking, but more specifically I have a great passion for baking.