Graduate Stories

Culinary Arts Graduate - Kevin Ward

Kevin studied Professional Cookery in GMIT, having previously worked part-time in the Prince of Wales Hotel, Newpark House Hotel and Castledaly Manor as a teenager. Kevin took to the programme with great enthusiasm and was awarded the title of Chef of the Year in GMIT in 1995.

After graduation, his traditional training began in earnest in kitchens throughout the country. Despite tough times, with plenty of hard work and long hours he emerged as a chef with solid foundations and a strong work ethic. Kevin took over the role of Executive Chef in the Sheraton Athlone Hotel in October 2008 after working in the Hodson Bay Hotel for 15 years. Kevin’s positive experience in GMIT prompted him to return to education. He completed a BA in Culinary Arts in 2009, and has recently completed an honours degree while working as Executive Chef in the Sheraton Athlone Hotel.

In his professional life, Kevin ensures that he is developing his skills as necessary, constantly pushing himself to reach the next level. His awards include two rosettes from the AA Food Guide in 2002, two silver medals and one bronze medal from Chef Ireland in 2009, finalist in the Valrhona Pastry Championship in 2009, and one gold medal and one bronze medal from Chef Ireland in 2011. Kevin was also the winner of the Pastry Challenge Competition with GMIT graduate Avril O’Connor, and will represent Ireland in the Mondial Des Art et Sucre Competition in Paris in 2012. “It’s all about challenging yourself” said Kevin. “And there is no better place than GMIT to be challenged, thanks to the extraordinary support given by all of the Hotel College lecturing staff to students”.