The Irish Food and Culture course gave students the opportunity to research traditional Irish food and to develop modern Irish cuisine over 10 days
Culinary students at Georgia Northwestern Technical College in Rome, Georgia were the first international students to experience a new programme at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT).
The students spent 10 days in Waterford accompanied by Greg Paulson, Professor in the Culinary Arts department at Georgia Northwestern Technical College, Rome. They are just a number of groups from the US due to visit WIT over the summer months,
The Irish Food and Culture course was developed by Tony Barry, lecturer in Culinary Arts at WIT and gave students the opportunity to research traditional Irish food and to develop modern Irish cuisine.
Tony says he developed the course for American students wishing to learn about Irish traditional food and Irish culture. Last October Tony, along with WIT Co-ordinator of North American Development, Walter O'Leary visited the US and this programme is a result of their meetings with the Technical College System of Georgia’s International Center for Technical Education.
"They're very interested in establishing links with WIT," explains Walter. These include in pathways for progression; co-operation at faculty level; and summer programmes.
The Georgia Northwestern Technical College students who are on a two-year course were here as part of their third semester, and get credits for it. “They take a cohort through for two years. We hope to get students every two years as a result,” says Tony.
“The Georgia students cured bacon, made Irish stew, regional potato dishes, brown bread, and soda bread as part of the programme. One of the more unusual creations was a dish of Tripe (lining of a cow’s stomach) and Drishins (blood sausage). They also foraged for seaweed at Kilfarassy and we took them on a food tour of Waterford, giving them the history of the port and bacon production in Waterford.”
Tony gave them something different for breakfast every morning meaning they also got to try out the famous Waterford blaa.
Tony adds a note of thanks to local restaurants. “They worked for one day in a number of kitchens in the Waterford area; I’m extremely grateful for the chefs for taking them in for the day.”
“The success of the programme was down to the vision of myself and their lecturer Greg Paulson, to bring students over here, and to hopefully bring Irish students to America. What we’re trying to do is internationalise Irish cuisine.”