Students on the Diploma in Restaurant Management, together with Lecturer Jacinta Greene Beatty, recently hosted a ‘Sustainability of Food and Energy forum’ at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT).
Mr Ray Cullen, Head of the Department of Languages Tourism & Hospitality, opened the event by noting that the forum was the product of two modules on the Diploma in Restaurant Management programme, namely Event Management and Food Energy and Sustainability. Mr Cullen continued. “This is a learning experience for students as they got an opportunity to plan, organise, and co-ordinate a real event around the topic of food energy and sustainability. It’s these real life experiences that will help them in their future careers.”
The forum attracted a series of high profile speakers and delegates who made contributions throughout the day including Micheal Kelly, founder of Grow it Yourself (GIY); Charlie Coakley, Environmental Manager for Dawn Meats; Peter Ward, Country Choice; Prof Patrick Wall, UCD; Andrea Marchesini, a student on the Diploma in Restaurant Management, entrepreneur and co–owner of the Harlequin Restaurant, Waterford City; Robert Anthony, Youghal & Knochmealmore Honey; Tom Griffin, the Hidden Mind and bio energy enthusiast; Mr. Paul Nolan, Manager of Dawn Meats, Waterford; Denis Foran, General Manager of McDonalds Waterford; Ms. Sharpe, Brady’s Ham; Mr. Paul Quirke, Buildings Manager, WIT; Mr. Richard Hurley, GM Granville Hotel and Ms. Adi Walshe, Kilkerrin Cottage, Pilltown Waterford.
Prof Patrick Wall from UCD spoke about damaging consumer-buyer behaviour. He explained in very simple terms how as a nation we need to look after our best asset -our health. He reiterated the importance of fruit and vegetables in our diet as well as exercise and stressed the importance of children’s health and the damaging habits that they are developing because of fizzy drinks, sugary snacks and little or no exercise.
Mr. Micheal Kelly from Grow it Yourself (GIY) discussed the need to grow more of our own foods locally and to sustain our local food companies and become self-sufficient. He also spoke about how he came to be the founder of GIY as well as the new GIY award for restaurants and hotels.
Mr. Charlie Coakley from Dawn Meats described the company’s award winning energy programmes. Their latest projects have delivered a thermal efficiency improvement of 90% at its Ballyhaunis plant and over 50% at other facilities. The company recently won the Process Award at the SEAI Environment Awards 2013.
The passionate and wonderful ambassador for Irish food, Mr. Peter Ward, spoke about his experiences in Artisan food production and how our own local products such as Cashel Blue Cheese are not getting the recognition they deserve. According to Peter, “We need to drive into our local farmer’s yard and buy the spuds and other vegetables which, in turn, will support our graduates who want to go back to the land and make a living”.
One of the highlights of the event was when students from St Angela’s Secondary School, Waterford showcased their junk Kouture creations using recycled materials. The students used egg shells, old CDs, plastic bags and bottle tops to make outfits good enough to make the All-Ireland Final of Junk Kouture in May, which is sponsored by Bank of Ireland.
Dr. Ruaidhrí Neavyn, President of WIT, closed the event, stressing the importance of encouragement for our students and commenting on the level of enthusiasm that surrounded the forum. He thanked all the speakers and presented them with beautiful Artisan Hampers generously sponsored by Ardkeen Stores, Waterford. Guests were then treated to an artisan lunch prepared by students from the total immersion programme in Culinary Arts guided by culinary arts lecturer Tony Barry.
WIT is now recruiting for suitable candidates for the Diploma in Restaurant Management programme. This 60 credit Special Purpose Award integrates restaurant management theory with practice. It has been developed to provide a relevant professional qualification for those who wish to embark on a career in Restaurant Management. Students are afforded the opportunity to complement college-based-learning with a structured placement under the guidance of an industry mentor. Students graduating from this course will have developed a range of competencies enabling them to excel as a restaurant supervisor/assistant manager.
Fees for this programme are fully funded by Failte Ireland. Students will have to pay for uniform costs.
Application forms and essay should be submitted in hard copy on or before Friday, 30 May 2014 to Ms Maria Aylward, Department of Languages, Tourism and Hospitality. Interviews will be held the week commencing 9th June 2014.
Application forms and course requirements are available at [url=http://www.wit.ie/diprestman]http://www.wit.ie/diprestman[/url]
This course is fully funded.
For more information, contact Nuala Gordon on 051 302717 or [email protected]
Photo Caption: Students of the Diploma in Restaurant Management Programme at WIT who organised the Sustainability of Food and Energy forum with second level students from St. Angela's Secondary School, Waterford City who showcased their junk Kouture creations using recycled materials. (L to R) Ronan Sharpe, WIT; Lorna Malone, WIT; Amy Kilgannon, Chloe Dennison, Charlotte Chunnihan, Orlagh Nolan, Bronnagh Kelly and Anna Buzan, all from St Angela's Secondary School; Thomas O'Challaghan, WIT, Sarah Whelan, WIT and Andrea Marchesini, WIT and Harlequin Restaurant Waterford City.
Anna Buzan is through to the Bank of Ireland All-Ireland of Junk Kouture Competition. Vote for Anna on Facebook ERP Ireland between the 14 -25 April 2014.
(Photos courtesy of George Goulding.)