‘Chef Takeover’ will see 12 culinary students take over restaurant for four nights

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Through teaming with WIT and Bellissimo, Pallas Foods and ABP are supporting the student chefs to put their skills into action.

Through teaming with WIT and Bellissimo, Pallas Foods and ABP are supporting the student chefs to put their skills into action.

With a diverse and luxurious selection of ingredients including local honey, seafood and lamb, this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience the best of Irish produce curated by the best of Irish student culinary talent

A showcase of years of hard work, creativity and finesse is on the menu when the final-year BA (Hons) in Culinary Arts students from Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) take over the kitchen of Bellissimo restaurant in Waterford for four unmissable nights from 24-27 March 2020.

The 12 students have created tasting menus with a strong focus on exceptional local produce and will be working the kitchen at the event in a variety of roles, from head chef to pastry specialist. Tickets are €60 each for a six-course tasting menu and booking is essential via www.cheftakeover.com.

Showcase of creativity

This event is presented by WIT, Pallas Foods and ABP in partnership with Bellissimo restaurant. It aims to highlight how creative and rewarding a career as a chef can be.

One of the key driving forces behind this incredible event is Tony McMahon, owner and restaurateur, Bellissimo Waterford. McMahon first proposed the Chef Takeover project.

He believes there is no better way to address the challenges in the industry than with “the people who will form its future, the young talented chefs and front of house staff that we need to encourage to take on the responsibility with passion.”

“Bellissimo has been creating great dining experiences in Waterford for 20 years and this event promises to be one of the best so far," McMahon says. "Collaboration between all of the parties involved can only make our industry stronger and better and most importantly give our valued customers something to really enjoy and be part of. Fantastic food, talented chefs, a glimpse into our culinary future, an enjoyable night out.... don’t miss it!”

Four years in training

Michael Quinn – a full-time lecturer at WIT and a renowned chef in his own right – has been working closely with his final year BA (Hons) in Culinary Arts students on their Chef Takeover preparations.

A multi-award winner with more than 22 years’ experience, voted Best Chef of the year in 2012 by the Restaurant Association of Ireland. Since then Quinn has moved on to become a full-time lecturer at WIT.

“Our students have used everything they’ve learned throughout their four year to pair mouth-watering ingredients, combining theory, practice, creativity and a phenomenal sense of adventure along the way. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience the best of Irish produce curated by the best of Irish student culinary talent.”

Support from industry

Through teaming with WIT and Bellissimo, Pallas Foods and ABP are supporting the student chefs to put their skills into action.

The goal is to inspire, motivate and, according to Pallas Foods Business Development Chef Patrick Clement, “it is about highlighting how rewarding and creative a career as a chef can be and supporting these young chefs as they begin their culinary journey after college.”

Eoin Ryan, ABP European Sales and Marketing Manager, said “At ABP we have no doubt that the Waterford Institute of Technology culinary students of today will be the successful restaurateurs and chefs of tomorrow. We are thrilled to be able to support the Chef Takeover as it helps prepare students for work as professional chefs in the hospitality sector, therefore training with quality beef is vital. Students will be working with high quality beef and lamb that ABP currently supplies to many of the leading restaurants and hotels across Europe, including Michelin-starred establishments. It is great to be encouraging catering students, and Michael Quinn is an outstanding chef to work alongside and learn from.”

Booking

Experience this incredible feast from 7pm from 24-27 March at Bellissimo, Cedar House, Dunmore Rd, Ardkeen, Waterford. Tickets are €60 each for a six-course tasting menu. Booking is online at http://www.bellissimo-waterford.com/product/takeover-bellissimo-restaurant, www.wit.ie/cheftakeover and www.cheftakeover.com

The food

Most experiences claim to be unique. But this Takeover – from the food to the people behind it – really is the cream of the crop.

With a diverse and luxurious selection of ingredients including local honey, seafood and lamb, this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience the best of Irish produce curated by the best of Irish student culinary talent. And vegans and vegetarians will be well catered for, with a separate meat-free menu. See www.cheftakeover.com for menu. 


Meet the chefs

Michaela Quigley: a home economics star, she spent a year working in Belfast’s Culloden Estate and Spa after leaving school. Keen on praline, she aspires to owning her own chocolate business. From Ferrybank. Past pupil of Abbey Community College, Ferrybank.

Saoirse Mooney: growing up in Waterford, she has a keen interest in the sea and the food that comes from it. By fifteen, Saoirse had taken over all the cooking in her house, even taking charge of Christmas dinner. Like her colleague Áine, her passion for food secured her the role of Chef De Partie at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa by Newcastle. From: Tramore, Co Waterford. Past pupil of Stella Maris, Tramore, Co Waterford.

Áine Brennan: her love for food has always been present, growing up around poultry and sheep, honing her butchery skills and cooking simple yet elegant meals for her friends. Áine flourished as a chef when she had the opportunity to work at the 5-star restaurant at Culloden Estate & Spa, Belfast.

Hanna Mathe: recently returned from the 45th International Worldskills competition in Russia, where she represented Ireland in Cookery against 46 other countries and won a medal of excellence. Lately, she chooses to specialise in pastry and confectionery, even launching her own line of sweets in the Cherub Couture Cake Shop, Co. Waterford. From: Ferrybank. Past pupil of Our Lady of Mercy Secondary School, Waterford.

Rob Condren: formerly an architect, now living life to the full in his true calling as a chef. He is passionate about great ingredients, and has worked as pastry chef de Partie in the acclaimed Slieve Donard resort and spa in county Down. From Castletown Gorey, Co Wexford. Past pupil of Gorey Community School.

Danielle Kehoe: inspired to enter the culinary arts as a 16 year-old kitchen porter, Danielle found a passion for food as she travelled the world learning about other cultures. It was during her time in Calgary, Canada, that Danielle got to really flex her culinary muscles at Oliver and Bonacini’s national hospitality company. From Campile, New Ross, Co Wexford. Past pupil of St Mary’s Secondary School, New Ross, Co Wexford.

Áine Lyng: learning basic cooking principles at a young age, Áine had a wealth of family recipes to draw from and is passionate about using quality local produce in her cooking. It was this foundation of knowledge that led Áine to land the position of Demi Chef De Partie at the 5-star Slieve Donard Resort & Spa in Newcastle, Co. Down. From Graignamanagh, Co Kilkenny. Past pupil of Our Lady of Lourdes Secondary School, New Ross, Co Wexford

Tom Phelan: a pastry chef, horticulturist and book collector, Tom combines his passions to create innovative desserts infused with freshness. He is currently working at “The Lady Helen”, a fine dining establishment in the heart of the 5-star Mount Juliet Estate in Co. Kilkenny. From Mullinahone, Glenmore, Co Kilkenny. Past pupil of Abbey Community College Ferrybank. 

James Dunne: he fell into this line of work by complete accident, having originally gone to college to study animation. James discovered a lifelong passion for fine food in San Francisco, after leaving home “barely able to boil an egg”. The hard work paid off, and James most recently worked as a lecturer in culinary arts at the Manukau Institute of Technology, Auckland. From Graigue, Thurles, Co Tipperary. Past pupil of Ghairm Scoile Mhuire, Thurles, Co Tipperary.

Sinead O’Sullivan: has just returned to the Institute after both working and studying abroad. Placement abroad was part of her coursework for year three of her college course. Humber College in Toronto Canada was her home for 4 months while studying there before working in the Slieve Donard Hotel, Co. Down. From Dungourney, Co Cork . Past pupil of St Aloysius College, Carrigtwohill, Cork.

Shannon Kingston: two-time winner of her school’s cooking competition in the Taste of West Cork festival, Shannon hopes to specialise in pastry and freshly baked cakes. Nowadays, Shannon can be seen at the Cultra Inn, located on the fabulous Culloden Estate & Spa near Belfast. From Ardfield, Clonakilty, Co Cork. Past pupil of Mount St Michael Secondary school.

 

Derek McClelland: working as a pastry chef at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel in Alberta, Canada, Derek went on to attend classes at the world-renowned Institute Paul Bocuse in Lyon, France. From Skerries, Co Dublin. Past pupil of Skerries Community College

Related Courses

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in  in Culinary Arts
Bachelor of Arts in  Culinary Arts
Higher Certificate in Arts in  Culinary Arts

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