Chef Michael Henville ’02, Going Home is a Breeze


Michael Henville ’02 Executive Chef of the Oualie Beach Resort
“The CIA really gave me a great all-around education. The knife skills course, fish and meat fabrication, the wine course, my internship in Napa Valley, and working in the restaurants on campus was an amazing experience.”
—Michael Henville ’02

CIA Alumni Bio

The soft island breezes and fragrant smells of the island of Nevis were never far from Michael Henville’s mind when he was up north attending The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.

“I never really acclimated to the northern climate, but the CIA made such an impact in my life I would do all four years over again in a heartbeat,” says Michael. Now back on his home turf, Michael is the executive chef and food and nutrition specialist with the Nevis School Meals Programme. “Our school meals programme is decentralised and we insistence on using local produce. The programmes around the island are basically self-sustainable,” explains Michael.

Early Exposure to the Kitchen

Home for Michael was right in the middle of the culinary action virtually from the get-go. “My dad was a general manager at one of the local hotels,” he says. “I remember running around the kitchens as a kid curious about what was bubbling in the pots. The cooks would always let me taste. I also learned from my mom just watching her in the kitchen. I knew from a pretty young age that I wanted to be a chef.”

And a CIA education was the path he chose to get there. Michael graduated with an associate degree in culinary arts in 2000 and a bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts Management in ’02. “I think both programs go hand-in-hand. You really shouldn’t do one without the other. I think you can never have too much education,” comments Michael. “Having the two degrees put me above and beyond other applicants when applying for jobs.”

Looking back on his time on campus, Michael says, “The CIA really gave me a great all-around education. The knife skills course, fish and meat fabrication, the wine course, my internship in Napa Valley, and working in the restaurants on campus was an amazing experience—all those little things community colleges and regional cooking schools just don’t provide to their students. The CIA offers that and more.”

A Reason to Return Home

While on vacation visiting family and friends at home on Nevis, Michael had an opportunity to dine at Oualie Beach Resort and met the owner. “He said he was looking for an executive chef,” he recalls. “It seemed almost too good to be true. That was in August 2010. By November I was home. I met my then-girlfriend while working in Florida and she moved with me to Nevis. We were married in June 2011.”

Michael is happy cooking for the island’s children instilling healthy habits and providing fresh fare. And his family is surely satisfied that the island breezes lured this native son home.

Chef Michael Henville majored in culinary arts management at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. He is the executive chef and food and nutrition specialist with the Nevis School Meals Programme.