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Northern Regional College Catering Students Cook Up a Storm


Catering students with their medals alongside representative from Royal Navy

Northern Regional College catering students were among the medal winners at a ‘Cook and Serve’ catering competition hosted by Royal Navy. The unique event saw students from Northern Ireland’s FE Colleges and Royal Navy Submarine Flotilla Teams go head-to-head in a culinary challenge at Belfast Met Titanic campus.

Working against the clock on the day of the competition, the teams of three – two working in the kitchen and one looking after front of house - had to create and serve a delicious three course meal to the judges and invited guests.

Prior to the event, participants had to compile and submit a descriptive menu and detailed costing of all the  ingredients required fo their signature dishes. They also had to select wine to accompany each course. Competitors were adjudicated, not just on the quality of the food but on their product knowledge, presentation and servicing skills.

All three students representing the College are studying Professional Cookery courses:Tyler Campbell from Coleraine and Christian Varnali, Ballymena, are both studying a Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Professional Cookery, having previously completed City & Guilds Level 1 Introduction to Professional Cookery and Level 2 Professional Cookery Diploma; Cole Reilly, from Coleraine who was responsible for service on the day of the competition, is studying City & Guilds Level 1 Introduction to Professional Cookery Diploma.

The mouth watering meal created and served up by the talented trio included a starter of Sous Vide king prawns with truffle polenta, balsamic vinaigrette, wild rocket and romesco salad. This was followed by a main course of pan fried seabass with a ricotta and sorrel saffron ravioli, braised celeriac, lotus root, samphire and petit pois, black garlic ketchup and verjus butte sauce and  apple and banana crunch for dessert.

The event was hosted by Brigadier Andy Muddiman ADC (Naval Regional Commander Scotland and Northern Ireland) and Commander Rob Milligan RN (Senior Naval Officer Northern Ireland).

Commander Milligan said: “This competition, the first of its kind for the Royal Navy in Northern Ireland, has allowed both talented young hospitality students and Royal Navy Caterers to showcase their talent in front of the judges and invited guests.

"The standard of service and quality of the food was truly exceptional and a credit to the local colleges,” he said.