SERC Students Enjoy Cookery Masterclass

Students Served Masterclass by Celebrity Chef Theo Randall

Students Served Masterclass by Celebrity Chef Theo Randall

Hospitality and Culinary Arts students from South Eastern Regional College (SERC) got to work with top London chef and TV celebrity Theo Randall.

The chef visited the College’s Bangor Campus as part of Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Taste Ards and North Down.

Theo Randall, Chef and Proprietor of Theo Randall at the InterContinental Hotel London Park Lane was the star attraction of the Council’s Dine at the Dock.

This event kicked off the Portavogie Seafood Festival in the transformed fish market and saw sixty (60) paying diners enjoy an exclusive Chef Dinner.

The Chef worked with students from SERC’s Level 2 Professional Chef, Level 3 Professional Cookery, and Level 3 Patisserie and Confectionery courses to prepare the food for the mouth-watering foodie experience.

SERC students from Bangor, Lisburn and Newtownards Campuses Level 2 Traineeship Professional Chef and Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Professional Cookery Patisserie and Confectionery (l – r) Matthew Beech (Dunmurry), Jack Regan (Newtownards), and Confectionery Bangor Campus;  Gabrielle Harrison (Newtownards) Nathan Smith (Belfast) with Professional Chef and tv personality Theo Randall (centre), Proprietor of Theo Randall at the InterContinental Hotel London.

It consisted of a five-course tasting menu using locally sourced ingredients. The meal was served by the College’s Front of House team of students from the BTEC Level 3 Hospitality with Events and Ulster University Foundation Degree in Hospitality and Tourism with Specialisms.

Paul Mercer, Deputy Head of School of Hospitality and Tourism at SERC said: “We were thrilled to welcome Chef Randall to SERC. He was very hands on, and it was a fantastic experience for our students.

“They are starting out on their culinary careers, and it was great for them to meet and experience work with a top working Chef.  

“The students worked with him to create every part of the dining experience. This was from preparation, to cooking to food and beverage service.

“It was essentially a masterclass with one of the world’s top chefs right here in the College.”

Paul said: “Theo was impressed with the level of commitment, work ethic and enthusiasm from the students.

“Some of the students were in the first few weeks of their courses, and we had really positive feedback from diners on the evening.”

SERC Food concession team at the Portavogie Festival: (L-R) Professional Cookery and Patisserie Lecturers Thomas Turley and Jacqueline Quinn, with Traineeship L2 FDQ Professional Chef students Chloe Kelly (Downpatrick) and Terri Laffin (Downpatrick).

Theo’s visit to the College was kindly funded by Ards and North Down Borough Council.

The students also got the chance to prep, assist and take to the stage with Theo and local celebrity chef Suzie Lee during live cookery demonstrations the following day at the festival.

Paul added: “SERC students also planned and organised two food concessions during Tide and Turf as part of their project-based learning (PBL).

“Level 2 Traineeship Professional Chef students from our Downpatrick Campus served poke bowls and bao buns under their enterprise name of ‘SERC Street’ from the College’s food truck.

“And New York Pizza, was on the menu from Level 2 Traineeship Professional Chef and Level 3 Patisserie students from Bangor, Lisburn, and Newtownards, which was served up in the fish market in Portavogie.

“This was excellent PBL experience for the students who traded alongside commercial concessions and sold all their produce.

“Their enterprise and entrepreneurship learning were put to the test, and they gained valuable insight and experience of catering for the demands of the public in a high-profile community food festival.”