|27 April 2012|
Hats Off To Top Trainee Chefs
|Competitors from across Northern Ireland have taken part in the bi-annual ChefSkills competition held during IFEX at the Kings Hall, Belfast.
ChefSkills, which is sponsored by the Department for Employment and Learning, is a three day competition where participants compete for a number of titles including the coveted Chef of the Year Award. A number of students from the Republic of Ireland, and some from France and as far away as Kenya, also came to savour the experience.
The competitions formed part of IFEX – Northern Ireland's largest international food, drink, retail and hospitality event which attracted over 4,000 visitors over the three day period.
Speaking after he attended the third day of the event, the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Employment and Learning, Mr Alan Shannon, commended the competitors on the excellent array of culinary skills displayed. Mr Shannon said: “I am particularly impressed by the outstanding skills displayed here today. It is testament to the high standard of training in our FE colleges and training organisations. Northern Ireland competitors consistently perform well at national and world level, clearly demonstrating that the standard of our vocational education and training system is world class. This is one of the reasons that the Department for Employment and Learning is committed to supporting skills competitions locally, nationally and internationally."
The Permanent Secretary also visited local businesses exhibiting at the event.
The IFEX ChefSkill competition is highly regarded across the UK and is an important scouting ground to select the best of Northern Ireland talent to qualify for selection for the UK team for WorldSkills. Seven young people from Northern Ireland formed part of the 43 person Team UK for WorldSkills 2011 and won gold, silver and bronze medals along with two Medallions for Excellence. Northern Ireland’s representation on Team UK was the highest per head of population of any of the UK regions, as was their performance in winning medals. Team UK won an impressive five gold, two silver and six bronze medals. The next WorldSkills competition will take place in Leipzig, Germany in July next year.
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