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Student-chefs compete in street food competition

Catering students showcased their culinary expertise this week by taking part in an inter-campus Street Food competition.

Student-chefs from Bangor, Lisburn and Newtownards campuses competed in teams of three to produce two street food inspired dishes before the judges. The students had to produce 12 portions of the dishes to present to the judges who included representatives from Henderson Group, Mount Charles and Major International.

Competitors were given the task of creating their dishes in 90 minutes, suitable for serving as a brunch item from a street vendors’ stall or vehicle. Ingredients could have come from any global influence but the judges were looking for flavour, creativity, presentation and ease of service in a street food environment.

The competition was open to all catering students from across SERC and was as a great platform for new emerging chefs to showcase their talent. There was lots of mouth-watering dishes on offer from street styled pulled pork ciabatta with red cabbage to a giant Yorkshire pudding filled with BBQ pork accompanied with rocket, fresh salsa and smoked paprika and lime crème fraiche.

Runners up included student-chefs Jonathan Henry, Martin Caldwell and Scott Hunter from Bangor.  While the winners were TFS students Matty Upton, Stuart Hannah and Morgan Gibson. Their winning dishes of deep-fried crispy sesame beef with honey chilli sauce, spring onion soy noodles and prawn crackers and dish two of curry spiced lamb pasties with parmesan, poppy seed and sesame seed crust, rustic tossed salad and a minted crème fraiche dressing wowed the judges and the team are now looking forward to and preparing for the final!

The winners now qualify to take part in a live competition where they will get the opportunity to sell their produce to the public at an event organised by Ards and North Down Borough Council. Here the students will have to produce a grilling 100 portions of their dishes and will be marked not only on taste, but also on customer service, teamwork and marketing of their products.

The students qualified for the inter-campus event by taking part in a class competition where one winner from each campus was selected. The competition was incorporated into a project based learning challenge, designed to provide students with valuable employability skills.

Sponsors of the event, Major International representative Bob McDonald was on hand to give advice and encouragement to the students.

Paul Mercer deputy head of school for business and hospitality said: “Competitions are at the forefront of promoting culinary excellence at SERC. We are keen to encourage the creativity and nurture the talent of our student-chefs. We believe that events like this are key to the development and honing of students’ skills in the industry.” 

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