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Northern Ireland Student Scoops Craft Guild of Chefs Award

Northern Ireland Student Scoops Craft Guild of Chefs Award

A South Eastern Regional College (SERC) student has been recognised with a prestigious Craft Guild of Chefs Award – the chefs’ Oscars, which recognises the exceptional talent across the whole of the industry throughout the UK.

Eimear McCarthy, (19), from Portaferry, attended the glittering Awards Ceremony with her mother, Julie at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge in London, where she was announced recipient of the Apprentice Chef Award, sponsored by Compass Group.   The event was attended by 700 of hospitality’s leading lights including Clare Smyth from three Michelin Stars Core and Matt Abe and team – Restaurant Gordon Ramsey.

Speaking about her Award, Eimear said,

“I am absolutely delighted to have been presented with such a prestigious Award and it was fantastic that my mum, Julie was there with me.   I think I was in a state of shock when my name was announced, and to go on stage to receive my Award and beautiful Craft Guild of Chefs pashmina placed around my shoulders. I am truly thrilled, and it has been great to come back home, and to SERC, with the Award.”

Eimear, who was nominated for the Award by Patisserie and Confectionery Course Co-ordinator, Paul Monaghan, honed her skills on the Level 2 Bakery course before progressing to the Level 3 in Patisserie and Confectionery, and is currently completing a Level 3 Hospitality with Events at the College’s Bangor Campus. No stranger to success, she won a Silver Medal for her chocolate work at IFEX, a Silver in the WorldSkillsUK National Finals in November, and was one of the team of three SERC students who lifted the top prize at the Royal Navy ‘Cook and Serve’ competition. She was also recognised at SERC’s recent Excellence Awards when she was joint winner of the FE Student of the Year for Bangor Campus.

The young woman also has her own enterprise, Eimear Bakes (available on Instagram and Facebook), and has recently returned from a two-week work and study placement in Valencia, where she worked as part of the front of house team in the Labranda Hotel Resort.

Patisserie and Confectionery Course Co-ordinator, Paul Monaghan, said,

“We are thrilled that Eimear has achieved the Apprentice Chef Award from the Craft Guild of Chefs and wish her hearty congratulations.  She is a fantastic ambassador for the College and for the industry.  She has a tremendous work ethic and enthusiasm to improve, and turns every experience into an opportunity to learn more.  We couldn’t be prouder of her and everything she has achieved, and we have no doubt she will continue to raise the bar for herself and for hospitality.”

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