From education to employment

Former SERC student chosen as one of BIM’s 2022 Taste the Atlantic Young Chef Ambassador

Torin Small, from the village of Annacloy in Co. Down, Northern Ireland, is one of only five young chefs appointed to Bord Iascaigh Mhara’s (BIM’s) Taste the Atlantic Young Chef Ambassador Programme for 2022.  The programme, now in its second year, was created by BIM, Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency, and is a collaboration with Chef Network and Fáilte Ireland to give emerging young chefs in-depth experience of the Irish aquaculture, seafood, and coastal tourism sectors. During the immersive four-month programme, each of the chefs will embark on a seafood journey along the Taste the Atlantic trail, familiarising themselves with the salmon, oyster and mussel producers working along the Western seaboard. 

Torin Small, Chef de Partie, Lough Erne Resort (Fermanagh) and former SERC student

Torin, who is 24, studied at South Eastern Regional College (SERC) in Downpatrick, progressing through Level 2 and Level 3 Professional Cookery under the tutelage of lecturer Thomas Turley,  and is learning his craft at Lough Erne Resort in Co. Fermanagh, where he has worked for one year to date. Torin was nominated by Lough Erne Resort Culinary Director Noel McNeel. Torin has the opportunity to use lots of local products from great suppliers in his work and is looking forward to seeing what the Taste the Atlantic Seafood producers have to offer and how that produce can be used to produce fine dining dishes.

Pictured at the announcement of BIM’s 2022 Taste the Atlantic Young Chef Ambassadors are (l-r):
Máirtín Walsh, Development Executive, BIM, Torin Small, Chef de Partie, Lough Erne Resort (Fermanagh), Roann Byrne, Commis Chef, Bryanstown Social, Drogheda (Louth), Stephen Cronin, Chef de Partie, The Bayview Hotel, Ballycotton (Cork), Proprietor, Aniar Restaurant & mentor to the young chefs, JP McMahon, Robin Martin, Chef de Partie, Mulcahy’s Restaurant (Kerry) & Rebecca Sweeney, Head Chef, Hooked Restaurant (Sligo).

This week the chefs visited seafood producers including the Burren Smoke House, Co Clare, where owner and producer Birgitta Curtin gave a demonstration at her salmon smokery. This was followed by a visit to Flaggy Shore Oysters in Co Clare where the chefs learnt about oyster production, and a visit to Moran’s Oyster Cottage in Kilcolgan, Co Galway to further their understanding of the importance of oyster production in the area. 

Additional field trips to Connemara and West Cork are on the menu, and the chefs will spend two days developing their culinary skills with Michelin star chef JP McMahon at his Aniar Restaurant in Galway. 

Master fishmonger Hal Dawson will also provide training to the chefs in fish quality and preparation skills at the BIM Seafood Innovation Hub in Clonakilty, Co Cork where they will also attend a culinary business workshop.

One of the unique features of the BIM Taste the Atlantic Ambassador programme is the pairing of chefs with seafood producers, helping them to gain a deeper understanding of the provenance of Irish seafood.

The programme will culminate with an event at the Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival in September.

Related Articles