Waterford IT wins International Cook Serve Challenge in GMIT

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 Press Office
Press Release

Competitors included Cork IT, GMIT, Waterford IT and Lycée Hôtelier de La Rochelle

The President of GMIT, Dr Fergal Barry, congratulated a team of culinary and hospitality students from Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) who today (Wednesday 16 March) won the inaugural GMIT International Cook Serve Challenge.

WIT also won Best Kitchen Overall Award while GMIT won Best Restaurant Overall Award. The two-day event, which was open to the public, took place in the College of Tourism & Arts (CTA) restaurants and kitchens at the Galway campus today (Wednesday 16 March) and yesterday (Tuesday 15 March).

Third-level culinary and hospitality students from Cork IT, Waterford IT, GMIT and Lycée Hôtelier de La Rochelle, France, showcased their kitchen and restaurant skills to over 100 invited guests at four sittings over two days. The students, with support from their lecturers and mentors, were tasked with preparing and serving a five-course tasting menu with matching beverages and wines.

Judging the students’ efforts were John Howard, former Chef/Patron, Le Coq Hardi; Jessica Murphy, Chef/Patron at Kai Café & Restaurant; Eanna Hassett, Food and Beverage Manager, Ashford Castle; Declan Maxwell, Manager of SMS Luna; Regis Martin, Regional Sales manager of Pallas Foods; Fergus O’Halloran, Managing Director, The Twelve Hotel; and Brid Torrades, Chef/Patron at Osta Café & Wine Bar.

All of the kitchen and restaurant activities and challenges have been wonderfully captured on video by Galway-based company Gréasan na Meán Skillnet, who have created a CookServe video channel which can be viewed via  www.gmit.ie/cookserve or  http://www.greasannamean.ie/cookserve/  Producer and editor Justin McCarthy says: “The footage of the kitchens and Front of House gives a unique insight into how 21st century culinary arts and hospitality work at their very best.  The videos and results are now on the web and more- showing each team in action- will be uploaded next week”.

The Cork IT team were comprised of Ciaran Scully (kitchen chef) and kitchen staff Jennifer Dunne, Sharon O’Keeffe, David O’Keeffe, Alex Tan and Conor O’Brien, with restaurant students Joe O’Donovan and Breda Buckley, Amy O’Connell, Katie Healy, Niamh Coakley, Luke Tobin and Caitriona Carroll.

The Waterford IT team were Tony Barry (Kitchen chef), John Devereux, Jason Condrun, Jack Brown, Mary Cronin and Laura Nugent, with restaurant students Ray Cullen, Kathlyn Leahy, Mark Mernagh, Philip Erskine, Alex Wisniewska, Adrian Zganiacz.

Lycée Hôtelier de La Rochelle were represented by Joël Migeon  (kitchen chef), Eilif Rosok, Aurélien Richard, Olivier Prost, Eugénie Roy and Camille Gaulupeau, with restaurant students Emeline Rouillon, Valentin Chauveau, Andréa Billard, Logan Guignot-Trufley and Benjamin Forestier, assisted by English teacher Sophie Renaudon.

GMIT was represented by students Tommy Fay, David Murphy, Amber Pierce, Joseph Deering and Sarah McArdle, Edel Lynch, Jack Hurley, Dean Corcoran, Andrew Dolan and Emma McMullen, supported by their mentors/lecturers Ulrich Hoeche, Clare Gilsenan, Colin Gilligan, Beatrice Colleran and Liz Fox.

Gerry Talbot, Head of Dept, GMIT College of Tourism & Arts, says the event was a great success and showed how important the combination of Front of House with Culinary service is, to give a complete experience to guests.

The GMIT Cook Serve Committee who organised the two day event were Gerry Talbot, Head of Dept,  lecturers Brian Morrissey, Anne Brindley, Jacinta Dalton, Frank X O’Connor and Mary Reid along with liaison officers /lecturers Martin Ruffley, Noel Loughnane and Maria Conboy.

For more information on programmes in GMIT’s College of Tourism & Arts, see: http://www.gmit.ie/college-tourism-and-arts/college-tourism-arts