The Goran Milić Culinary Academy
The first meaningful project of the Santa Barbara – Kotor Sister City Committee was to establish the Goran Milić Culinary Academy at the Resource Center for persons with speech and hearing impairments in Kotor, Montenegro. The purpose of the culinary academy is to teach young students from the Resource Center the basic skills of food preparation for entry level positions in the restaurant business.
Several of our promising young chefs have interned at restaurants in Montenegro, Italy and Los Angeles, as well as attended classes at the Culinary School at Santa Barbara City College. Many of our students have been offered full time positions at prestigious restaurants in Montenegro while others have been offered internships at that we hope will lead to meaningful employment.
Santa Barbara City College culinary student, Alberto Santamaria, has been chosen by the Santa Barbara – Kotor Sister City Committee to intern at the prestigious Regent Porto Montenegro for the summer of 2022. This informal program had its beginnings in 2010 when Randy Bublitz, former chair of the Culinary Arts School at SBCC, traveled to Kotor to teach a group of young students from the Institute for Children With Disabilities the basic skills for entry level work in Montenegro’s resorts and restaurants. These students, despite their hearing impairments, thrived in the restaurant environment creating multiple employment opportunities for disadvantaged youth.
The success of the program also resulted in SBCC culinary students, Ava Engle and Marcelo Chacon, being invited to intern at the Regent Porto Montenegro in the summer of 2021. The impression these two made on the manager and chef of the Resort resulted in an agreement for continuing the relationship between SBCC culinary tudents and the Regent Porto Montenegro Resort.
The Santa Barbara Sister City Committee is pleased to have established a meaningful exchange program between our Sister Cities that touches the lives of young people for years to come.
In our first exchange since the beginning of Covid19 SBCC Culinary Students Ava Engle and Marcelo Chacon received paid internships in the kitchen at the Regent, Porto Montenegro. Along with the experience of working at one of the finest resorts in Montenegro they had the opportunity to work with employees from several other countries. Their work effort was exceptional and resulted in an invitation to continue this program in 2022.
Melinda and Troy were our first students from Santa Barbara to attend our Culinary School in Kotor, Montenegro. After completing the course in Kotor both interned at Divino’s and found employment in prestigious California restaurants
Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider with Goran Milic and culinary students from Kotor. Goran and the students prepared a dinner for our “Friends of Kotor” following which the students spent two months interning at Goran’s Divino Restaurant in Brentwood, CA.
Professor Randy Bublitz from the Santa Barbara City College Culinary School, offered to teach at our Culinary Academy at the Resource Center in Kotor, Montenegro. Randy was assisted by former student Semir Corovic who was, at that time, working in the kitchen of at the prestigious Aman Resort in Montenegro.
Students of the Academy who showed interest and special ability were chosen to intern at Goran’s Divino Restaurant in Brentwood, CA. At the completion of the internship all received offers for positions in some of the finest resorts and restaurants in Montenegro.
The first program the Santa Barbara - Kotor Sister City Committee established was the Goran Milić Culinary Academy at the Resource Center for persons with speech and hearing impairments in Kotor, Montenegro. The purpose of the culinary academy is to teach young students from the Resource Center the basic skills of food preparation for entry level positions in Kotor Resorts and Restaurants.