At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, while out of a job and grounded at home after spending weeks out at sea as a shore excursion manager for Disney Cruise Line, Derlon Felix suddenly experienced a flash of inspiration which pushed him to actually make full use of his Culinary Management degree from the Trinidad and Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute.

On May 22, 2020, Felix was among other crew members who stood on Deck Four of the Disney Fantasy cruise ship, awaiting information on whether Trinidad and Tobago nationals would be allowed to disembark on Trinidad soil. With an air of uncertainty as the media buzzed with information about Covid-19 outbreaks on cruise ships, each day they struggled to come to terms with the gravity of the pandemic, rapidly increasing cases and global deaths.

Regardless of the initial challenges experienced for re-entry, Felix was relieved to finally be quarantined at The UWI Campus Debe facility. With that experience now behind him, Felix turned to his other love—cooking.

All it took was an “a-ha! moment” that catapulted Felix back into the culinary field. Felix eventually launched BowlGoals, a healthy alternative catering service. which provides healthy packaged meals and catering service, with menus that are focused on nutritional awareness, portion control, robust flavours, and healthy, fresh, and trendy ingredients.

“Even with my positive outlook, cruises continued to be cancelled and the suspension lasted longer than anticipated. I was in the kitchen one day, and a family member asked if I was willing to prepare healthy meal plans for him.

“This became my ‘a-ha! moment’ . After all, my first degree was Culinary Management completed at the Trinidad and Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute. I became motivated and began a business plan, researched the market, created a concept, and started setting goals and objectives for my return to the culinary field.

“I am grateful to have an international network of friends, who assisted in creating my vision. I gained valuable support in creating marketing strategies, photography shoots, content creation and other business services. After three months of planning and research, and support of my family and network, I made my entrepreneurial debut on February 1st, 2021 with the launch of BowlGoals Healthy Catering and Meal Plans.

“BowlGoals Healthy Catering is a small-business, homegrown foodservice company, featuring menus for different weight management goals including weight loss (Shed Menu), maintaining a healthy weight/lifestyle (Maintain Menu) or weight gain (Clean Bulk Menu). For each menu there are packages with a maximum of a Five-Day Meal Plans. Lunch specials, One-Day Meal Plans and Three-Day Meal Plans are available,” Felix said.

Personal touch

While Felix’s meals come in four unique combinations, they can be personalised based on his client’s requests. “It’s very personalised. People have different requests. Some people require keto, some people prefer a monthly package and people are asking me to do things based on their non-communicable illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure. As the company grows then I’ll be able to personalise the menu a little more. The plan is to expand and grow,” Felix said.

Felix explained his concept. “The Maintain Menu contains some of the signature bowls which are very colourful and have a lot of character. Like the concept of Power Bowls, Buddha Bowls and Poke Bowls, these bowls are extremely nutritious and healthy. The menu includes the Signature Power Lunch Bowl, the

Buddha Lunch Bowl and the Keto Dinner Bowl which has delicious Zucchini Noodles with Pistachio Pesto. The Shed Menu which ranges between 1,900-2,000 calories per day consists typically of four portioned meals and two snack items designed for persons wishing to lose weight. There is a higher ratio of protein intake and fats and carbs are limited. An appropriate exercise routine should also be followed. A typical shed daily menu includes hard boiled eggs and banana oatmeal for breakfast followed by a midmorning meal of an omelette or protein pancakes.

The Clean Bulk Menu is designed for gaining lean muscle and ranges between 2,800-3,000 calories per day. It consists of four portioned meals and three snack items per day. Similarly, to the Shed Menu, meals of this plan should be enjoyed with a related exercise programme. All ingredients are portion controlled, for example 4 oz chicken breast is served with two cups roasted beets and carrots, one cup boiled sweet potatoes, and half cup black bean stew.

Visit BowlGoals Healthy Catering and Meal Plans via Instagram and Facebook@bowlgoalstt for a detailed listing of the menus, prices, and packages. Orders can be placed via WhatsApp 701 BOWL (2695).

About Derlon Felix

Derlon Felix is the founder of BowlGoals Healthy Catering and Meal Plans which was founded in February 2021.

He is a graduate of Johnson and Wales University, Charlotte Campus where he pursued a Bachelor of Science degree, International Hotel and Tourism Management (Summa Cum Laude).

Felix also successfully completed two Associates Degrees at the Trinidad &Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute (Hospitality Management & Culinary Management) Felix’s career spans over 18 years and he is still currently an active senior leader with Disney Cruise Line.

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