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SERC showcases ‘Meet the Chefs’ event

South Eastern Regional College (SERC) Bangor Campus have recently hosted a ‘Meet the Chefs’ dinner to showcase the hospitality industry.

The theme for the event was Food NI’s Taste the Greatness, and it involved a cadre of top local chefs working with students to create original and delicious dishes from locally sourced ingredients.

The unique dinner brought together the local hospitality industry and Further Education sector as part of the “Our Industry, Our Future, Our Responsibility” initiative to safeguard the Industry’s future.

With over 40 guests in attendance the event featured Chef Michael Deane of EIPIC, which has just retained its Michelin Star, along with Chef Jay Eisenstadt of the Stormont Hotel, part of Hastings Hotels, Chef Tony O’Neill, founder of Coppi, II Pirata and Buba restaurants in Belfast, Chef Robert McDonald of Bushmills Inn, Chef Colin McCreedy, La Mon Hotel, and Chef Cathal Duncan of The Boat House in Bangor.

Sponsors included Hastings Hotels, Henderson Foodservice, Hannan Meats, Keenan’s and several smaller food processors such as Clandeboye Estate Yoghurt, Jawbox Gin, Baronscourt Brewery and Irish Black Butter.

On arrival, guests were treated to a drink’s reception prepared by Baronscourt Brewing Company, Jawbox Gin and Ruby Blue Vodka as well as street food style canapes prepared by SERC students and under the direction of Chef Robert McDonald from The Bushmills Inn in SERC’s brand new ‘College Kitchen’ food truck. This course was sponsored by Major International & Lecale oysters.

Guests were then welcomed to SERC’s own in house student restaurant ‘The Birches’ for a delicious six course meal prepared by each of the chefs and students.

The evening was compered by Paula McIntyre MBE who welcomed everyone to the event before introducing each of the chefs as each course was served.

The first course was prepared by Chef Jay Eisenstadt from the Stormont Hotel who provided a starter of Kearney blue cheese panna cotta with house made piccalilli and wheaten chive crisps complemented with a glass of Italian calogera prosecco.  

The second course was prepared by Chef Stephen Ferris from Coppi Belfast who prepared a porcini mushroom ravioli, roast breast of duck, celeriac puree, confit leg, girolle and truffle ragu. Guests where also treated to a bottle of Huntsman wheat beer by Baronscourt Brewing Company.

The third course was prepared by Chef Colin McCreedy from the La Mon Hotel and Country Club who prepared Irish peat and oak smoked hake with crispy skin and warm tartar sauce. The dish was paired with a glass Pette Ronde 2016 picpoul de pinet.

The Main course was prepared by Chef Henris Deans from Deli Bistro who provided a mouth-watering fillet and flank of Hannan’s Beef Shallot, potato and parsley. The dish was paired with Misiones de rengo, 2016 cabernet reserve.

The Dessert course was prepared by Chef Cathal Duncan from The Boathouse, Bangor who prepared Irish black butter and treacle tart with Clandeboye yogurt ice cream and caramelised apples.

Finally, tea and coffee with Granny Shaws Fudge and SERC petif fours was served.

To close the evening, SERC Head of School for Hospitality, Management, Tourism and Languages James Currie thanked all the chefs, sponsors and students for giving up their time and their hard work throughout the evening and the guests for coming along and hoping to see them again at bigger and better future events.

Speaking about the event James Currie said that “The aim of the event was to raise the profile of the hospitality industry while at the same time celebrating our world class local produce and I believe we have done just that.

“This event wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the hard work and dedication from our tutors and our guest professional chefs who gave up their time to take part in this event. Undoubtedly many links will have been made and our students will ultimately benefit working alongside these great individuals.

“I personally thank everyone for attending this momentous night and each of our suppliers. for making this event a success.”

Paul Mercer SERC deputy head of school for hospitality said “the aim of the event was to raise the profile of the industry while at the same time celebrating our world class local produce. We must encourage more young people to grasp the opportunities opening in the hospitality sector here, especially with the current and projected growth in tourism that is producing the rapid expansion of hotels and restaurants.”

SERC’s brand new ‘College Kitchen’ food truck is now available for bookings. Email SERC Deputy Head of School Paul Mercer on  for more information.

SERC provides a wide range of full and part time courses. Visit us at our Full-time Open day on Wednesday 14 November from 4pm – 7pm at our Bangor, Downpatrick, Lisburn and Newtownards campuses, or for more information call 0345 600 7555.

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