SERC Host UK Young Risotto Chef of the Year NI ROI Regional Heats

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South Eastern Regional College (SERC)

25th Jan 2022

South Eastern Regional College are hosting the NI & Ireland Regional heat for the Young Risotto Chef of the Year 2022 competition on Friday 28 January at the College’s Bangor Campus.

Five students from SERC have been selected to compete and will be competing against each other, as well as against students from Dundalk Institute, Ulster University and Southern Regional College, in the national competition for 17 to 23-year-olds. The annual competition is sponsored by Gallo UK, part of Riso Gallo, premium producer of Italian and speciality rice products

The SERC students competing are Catrina Stanfield, (20, Newtownards) Rory Watson (17, Bangor) and Thomas Disney (18, Killyleagh) from the Level 3 Professional Cookery, and John Bennett (17, Newtownards) and Pearse Sweeney, (17, Portaferry) both from the Level 2 Professional Chef.

Paul Mercer, Deputy Head of School of Hospitality, Management, Tourism & Languages at SERC said, “We are delighted, not only to be hosting the NI heat, but to have five students selected for this prestigious competition.

“Risotto is a classic Italian dish and recognised as a staple in any chefs repertoire. Although considered a simple dish, there are a few key steps to perfection, one of which includes, stock which students are allowed to pre prepare for the competition.

Paul concluded, “Competitions like this give our students experience of working under pressure and the opportunity to get feedback and network with top chefs from across the world.”

Judging will be undertaken by Gary Guiney, Dolan Heaney, and Tony O’Neill, and from Riso Gallo, Jason Morrison (MD), Craig Blaney and Ruth Jenkinson.

The Grand Final will be held at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on 4 April 2022 when students will compete for an amazing first prize which includes Travel to Italy for a three-day Stage with Fabio Pisani, Alessandro Negrini, and their team at the 2 Michelin starred Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia in Milan, famous for its contemporary Italian cuisine. Then a tour of the Riso Gallo Rice Mill in Italy and a selection of excellent rice, cresses and oils from Riso Gallo, Filippo Berio and Koppert Cress.

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Keeping cool in the kitchen: Five SERC students have been selected to take part in the NI & Ireland Regional heat for the Young Risotto Chef of the Year 2022 competition which will be hosted in the College’s Bangor Campus on Friday 28 January. (L – R) Rory Watson (17, Bangor), Thomas Disney (18, Killyleagh), Pearse Sweeney, (17, Portaferry) John Bennett (17, Newtownards) and Catrina Stanfield, (20, Newtownards).