The Universidad Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña (UNPHU), through its Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences, inaugurated this Thursday the Mike Mercedes Gastronomic Laboratory, in honor of the outstanding Dominican Chef Miguel Mercedes Jiménez, who had a career in the culinary art of more than 50 years.
Jimenez is considered one of the main international promoters of Dominican gastronomy of all times.
During the ceremony, the rector of the university, Architect Miguel Fiallo Calderon, said that “this space that we inaugurated today with its equipment and utensils, is another step that adds value and strengthens our School of Hospitality and Tourism. From now on, our students of these careers, as well as those of our school, who finish with a technical degree in Hotel Management with two specialties, in tourism and gastronomic services, will have modern and specialized laboratories”.
The facility has modern and innovative equipment and high technology, for a kitchen with high quality standards. It is designed for students’ culinary practices, where they will be able to develop their knowledge and skills related to their profession.
It also has a restaurant set for the realization of the practices in the service, a teaching room, a complete industrial kitchen. The culinary laboratory has a hydroponic garden, which has an innovative teaching system for planting food products, of benefit to the hotel students, who will be responsible for its maintenance and the production that will be carried out in the culinary activities.
In addition to the authorities of the FUDPHU and the academy, the inauguration was attended by personalities linked to the tourism sector, such as Luis Felipe Aquino, president of the Caribbean Tourism Exchange; Judith García, president of the Santo Domingo Hotel Association; Jenny Polanco Lovera, president of ADOMPRETUR; Rafael Papo Blanco, vice president of the Viva Whyndam Resort chain; Bolívar Troncoso, director of the Dominican Geographic Institute and Honorary Member of the Conpeht.
Also present were Roberto LLuberes, vice president for the Caribbean of Conpeht; Ginna Ely, operations manager of the Radisson Hotel; Alejandro Aponte, president of ADOCHEF; Winston Cruz, president of ADAVIT; Cecilia López, CEO of Sistedeco; and Luisa Félix, Buen Vivir Magazine.
About Miguel “Mike” Mercedes Jimenez
Miguel Mercedes Jimenez, better known as Mike Mercedes, was born in San Felipe de Puerto Plata on January 6, 1936 and was a Dominican Chef who was able to show his talent in more than 180 countries, making known through his culinary creations, all the gastronomic culture of the Dominican Republic, took our flavor to prominent people of his time such as Pope, John Paul II, for the kings of Spain, Juan Carlos I and Sofia de Borbon, for Queen Beatrix I of the Netherlands, for Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina, Golda Meir, Francois Mitterrand, President Carlos Menéndez of Argentina, Anoldo Alemán President of Nicaragua, Hugo Chávez President of Venezuela.
She also cooked for great artists such as Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, El Canario, Johnny Pacheco, Gloria Estefan and her husband Emilio Estefan, among others. She was the official chef of the XV Central American and Caribbean Games, Santiago, Dominican Republic 1986, among other socially and politically influential figures.
Although he had already ventured since 1957 in the culinary art, it was in the 60’s that he left the law school of the UASD, to devote himself to the profession that would lead him to fame and glory.
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