A team of Hospitality and Catering students from the Downpatrick Campus of South Eastern Regional College (SERC) are celebrating after winning a host of medals and awards at the prestigious hospitality trade show, IFEX Chef Skills 2014, which took place at the Kings Hall, Belfast.
Students from SERC’s School of Business, Hospitality and Tourism took part in the three day competition which featured students from the College’s full and part-time professional cookery, catering and hospitality courses.
IFEX ChefSkill 2014 is officially recognized as one of a number of UK wide competitions which will identify potential candidates to compete for a place on Team UK in the Cookery and Restaurant Services competitions in WorldSkills Leipzig 2014.
The local students took part in a variety of competitions at the hospitality show and impressed judges with their technical skills and creativity to walk away with awards.
Student Chef Reuben Lyons who studies an NVQ level 2 in Professional cookery, competed in the Junior Fish competition and impressed judges in the live cook off to take home a bronze medal. A certificate of merit was dished out to Professional Cookery student Nathan Cox who also competed in the Senior Fish challenge.
Commenting on his success, Reuben said: “I was delighted to win a bronze medal at such a high profile event.The competition required me to prepare and cook a fillet of fish live during the exhibition in full view of the public and under the watchful eye of the judges so it was very nerve racking. It was a lot of hard work and extremely tiring, but after winning the award it’s definitely been worth it.”
Michael Gillies, Professional Cookery lecturer at SERC added: “All students have shown a real passion for the food and the hospitality industry. Winning a Bronze medal in such a high profile, prestigious event is a fantastic achievement. These students were up against some of the best in the industry. This competition is just the beginning of a brilliant career for them.”
Michael went on to say that Christopher Fitzsimmons did exceptional in his competition achieving a certificate of participation in the junior duck category.
SERC Principal and Chief Executive Mr Ken Webb commented; “The competition was an excellent opportunity for our students to demonstrate the high level of skills they have learnt during their studies.
“For students and staff to compete so successfully, to such a high standard, is outstanding. This level of success illustrates the quality of education and training on offer within SERC and showcases how talented our students really are.”