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Aspiring chefs through to semi-finals of hot culinary competition

Three aspiring young chefs from SERC have reached the semi-finals of the Country Range Student Chef Challenge 2018 competition.

Team members from the level 2 professional cookery course Eoin Gallagher, Darren Boyle and Ciaran Magee who study at the Downpatrick Campus received encouraging feedback from the judges at the paper based stage of the entry. The students are now preparing to travel to City of Glasgow College on 8 February to compete against 16 other teams.

The teams were selected as they got the highest marks based on the paper judging done by Craft Guild of Chefs back in December.

The students’ menu received encouraging comments and the judges are very excited to see and try the finished dishes. One judge said that “The various elements of each course and the selected spices used have clearly been well thought-out.”

The Country Range Student Chef Challenge provides students with the opportunity to showcase their culinary skills at one of the leading competitions across the country and is open to teams of full-time hospitality or catering college students.

Team mentor and Lecturer Michael Gillies, said: “The team have been preparing and training for this high-profile event for a number of months, perfecting their dish which will be presented for tasting by a judging panel.”

During the competition, students will be judged on the key practical culinary skills, making full use of ingredients to minimise waste and showing an understanding of the cooking methods, the students are using to produce their menus and why they are the best methods for their dishes and ingredients. The students will be working in teams to prepare, cook and present their menu within a 90-minute period.

SERC Head of School for Business, Hospitality and Tourism James Currie said: “This is a fantastic achievement for both mentors and for the students involved. Congratulations on reaching the semi-final and good luck in the competition.”

If successful the students will then progress to the competition final which takes place at the Hotelympia in London in March

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