ST. GEORGE – A new restaurant, Island Grinds Authentic Foods and Catering, is training local youth in cooking and life skills while sharing the unique Polynesian culture.
Island Grinds operates under New Beginnings Academy, a St. George-based nonprofit organization established in 2006 to help at-risk youth, homeless and runaway teenagers through sports programs, education and guidance. The academy opened Island Grinds as a hands-on training program for young adults interested in pursuing careers in the food industry, a fundraiser for the academy and a way to share the various dishes of the Polynesian culture with the community.
Eligible youth are selected by the academy’s panel of directors and must complete the necessary certifications in order for them to start work. They will be taught the basics of restaurant operations and Polynesian cooking.
Island Grinds will be open Monday through Friday. Each week, one day will be used to showcase dishes prepared by the young future chefs. On “Aloha Wednesday,” the restaurant does not charge for meals and serves mainly to assist less fortunate families who cannot afford a hot meal. Businesses or individuals who would like to help the restaurant and academy can help by sponsoring a Wednesday. Saturdays will be used for fundraising opportunities for youth in the community who are involved in educational or sports club but cannot afford dues or fees.
“We serve our community by providing opportunities for our young people,” said Paki Tiatia, president of New Beginnings Academy and interim manager of Island Grinds. “We strive to put out the best food possible, but I’m even more satisfied when I can be of service to my fellow man. Come on down, support us and enjoy some good island grinds.”
Island Grinds is located at 1316 South 400 East, Suite B4, in St. George and can be reached at 435-313-2998.
Submitted by: Paki Tiatia