In the spirit of skills development in the industry, the R30 000 Bryan Montgomery Bursary, sponsored by Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery, was awarded to Latoya Layhove, a 19 year old second year student at Capital Hotel School. The bursary’s founding member, Bryan Montgomery, had a passion for all things culinary and did all he could to assist prospective students who faced budget constraints in terms of furthering their education. Since 2011, Food & Hospitality Africa is honoured to have been awarding the fund through the SA Chefs Association.

“Receiving the bursary is a great honour for me and the rest of the Layove family. I cannot begin to express how greatful I am for the financial help I have received,” says Latoya. “Both my parents are unemployed, therefore money has always been an issue at home.”

Latoya’s mother was the one to find out about the Bryan Montgomery Bursary. “My mother always look for solutions and never allows issues to get her down. As she was searching the internet for bursaries that could help us out, she stumbled upon the Bryan Montgomery Bursary and quickly applied for it – the rest is history.”

“I chose to follow my dream of becoming a top chef because of my deep passion for food as well as the various flavours used to create amazing dishes,” says Latoya. “Some people choose to share their passions and life stories through composing music and others through writing books….I chose food, because I believe that food not only feeds one’s hunger, but one’s mind, heart and soul as well.”

Latoya is in her final year of the two year culinary studies course at the Capital Hotel School and believes that her passion for cooking is one of the things that has helped her get through the many challenges she has faced. “Despite all the difficult challenges I have faced so far, my love for food has grown all the more better thanks to the support of my lecturers, family and friends.”