Hospitality student checks in for Michelin star experience

Posted By:
Southern Regional College

15th Jun 2023

Andrew McVarnock is not your typical student.  There are no restful summer holidays for this Southern Regional College student, as Andrew is en-route to start a 9 week summer placement with the Michelin star ‘House Restaurant’ at Cliff House Hotel in Waterford.

Andrew is currently undertaking the Professional Chef level 2 traineeship at Newry campus and is being tutored under the careful eye of Culinary Arts lecturer Sinead Boyle.  Recognising Andrew’s talent and eagerness, Sinead reached out to the Cliff House Hotel to help secure a placement for Andrew.  Sinead has previously worked at the Cliff House and is eager to use her industry contacts to help students progress.

For Andrew, the placement is “Exactly what I need.  I’m eager to learn more about providing quality dishes and The Cliff House sets one of the highest standards in excellence.  I want to take the high standards I will gain, embed them, and take them forward to wherever I may work in the future.”

At the Cliff House, Andrew expects to work with a range of chefs in the areas of grill, starter, mains, larder, sauce and breakfast.  The opportunities for continuing development are endless as Andrew will work with a team of over 20 chefs as he hones his skills. For Andrew it’s not just about making a meal, it’s about creating the best possible experience for the customer.

With so many students looking forward to kicking back and enjoying the summer, Andrew will be working steadfastly throughout.  Andrew commented: “I want to grow and do better and it’s this drive that makes me want to continue.  I want to know what the head chef is doing and pick up as many tips that I can.”

While Andrew is just seventeen years old, the opportunities with being a professional chef are multiple.  It’s a career that enables you to travel abroad and obtain work in any country or sea; docking in a new country on board a cruise ship also holds interest for Andrew.

While Andrew doesn’t have a favourite dish to cook, it depends on what the freshest ingredients are on the day, this is one student who we all would love to be cooking for us at home.

Michelle Moore, Curriculum Area Manager for the Faculty of Professional Services at Southern Regional College commented:

“Andrew has just completed his first year in the Level 2 Professional Chef Traineeship and will commence Year 2 in September.  Sinead Boyle is Andrew’s personal tutor and having spent the previous summer working in The Cliff House Hotel, a luxury 5 star hotel in Waterford, Sinead was aware the hotel was a premier establishment and an experience that would benefit students. Andrew will be based in their House Restaurant, which is a MICHELIN star restaurant. This was organised through the Erasmus programme. 

Andrew will undertake his placement from the end of June to the end of August under the wing of their Chef Patron Tony Parkin.  Tony has 22 years’ experience in the culinary world, and has worked in renowned restaurants including Restaurant Gordan Ramsey, Northcote and Noma. Tony is the winner of four AA Rosettes for The Tudor Room at Great Fosters Hotel in Engham. His menus offer a distinctive flair of local cuisine, paired with French and Thai flavours.

The team at Southern Regional College are very proud that Andrew, at 17 years old is embarking on a MICHELIN star work placement and we are excited to see the new skills Andrew will learn”.

 For information on the Professional Chef traineeships or apprenticeships, check out available opportunities at: https://bit.ly/3CsVOS1


Pictured: Michelle Moore, Curriculum Area Manager at SRC; Andrew McVarnock and Sinead Boyle, Culinary Arts Lecturer.