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Young cooks have high hopes for Chef Challenge

January 30th, 2018 | by LCN Editor
Young cooks have high hopes for Chef Challenge

Three aspiring young chefs from South Eastern Regional College (SERC) have reached the semi-finals of the Country Range Student Chef Challenge 2018.

Team members from the level 2 professional cookery course – Eoin Gallagher, Darren Boyle and Ciaran Magee – who study at the College’s 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 February 8 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 SERC 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 key practical culinary skills, making full use of ingredients to minimise waste and showing an understanding of the cooking methods they are using. The students will be working in teams to prepare, cook and present their menu within a 90-minute period.

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


Our picture shows aspiring young chefs Darren Boyle from Newcastle and Eoin Gallagher from Castlewellan, who  have reached the semi-finals of the Country Range Student Chef Challenge 2018 competition. Included is their tutor Michael Gillies.  Ciaran Magee from Downpatrick is part of the team but not pictured.


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