Wed | Oct 23, 2019

Denise Cargill The Cake Doctor

Published:Thursday | June 13, 2019 | 12:15 AMLatara Boodie/Gleaner Writer

There are few people in this world that can consider themselves pioneers within their craft. These are the movers and shapers of our society, and the ones that can unearth and tap into the potential in others. They make learning easy because their sole purpose is to teach. When Denise Cargill decided to dedicate her life to teaching the culinary arts, she instantly gained a sense of fulfilment. After realising her calling, with an intense passion, she became the ‘Cake Doctor’.

“I am an ordained minister of the culinary arts,” declared the petite chef with robust pride. “I found it quite strange when my pastor anointed me with it, because I’ve never heard of that before,” she laughed.

For Cargill, becoming a chef was a path she had to embrace for herself. Her natural ability to pair spices and concoct flavours always led people towards her kitchen. “I remember in high school at Ardenne, whenever I was cooking in home economics class, students would always wait to taste what I was preparing. I never saw it as anything at that time. I just thought the children were hungry,” she said.

In her youth, Cargill wanted to become a medical doctor, and often found herself cursing her skills with the pot and pan. “It wasn’t prestigious. It was not anything that anybody wanted to grow up to become at the time. I was not happy about that. It was not until afterwords that I embraced what I could do,” she explained. With this new-found confidence in her abilities, she decided to pursue a four-year diploma course at the then College of Arts, Science and Technology, where she majored in institutional management and food science.

As she became older, she harnessed the knowledge gained from her church and decided to use food as her method of spreading the love of God. “Everybody needs to eat,” stated Cargill. After listening to a sermon from her pastor, the statement “we must reproduce of our kind” resonated with her. “I said wow, Lord, what are you saying to me? The only thing I know is food and cake, so I should go make me some cake disciples,” she said.

What started out with three eager students in her very own kitchen, flourished into an islandwide influx of chefs. Many of her students have evolved to become renowned award-winning pastry chefs, and she is proud of their growth within the industry.

“I know what I had to do to get over my doubts, fears and challenges. Back in my day, there was nobody there to assist and guide me. This is what I do for my students. I always encourage them, and they know they can always ask me for help; after all, I am the ‘Cake Doctor’ said Cargill.

For more information on how to discover your inner chef, call Occasions Catering & Hireage Co Ltd at 876-927-5549/789-5187 or email: howdencargill@yahoo.com.

latara.boodie@gleaanerjm.com