Newry.ie

From mouth-watering starters to delicious desserts, Southern Regional College certainly rose to the culinary challenge recently as they hosted a ‘Cook Off’ challenge event in their Graduate Restaurant (Newry East Campus) which saw members of the College’s Senior Management Team compete against each other to claim crowning glory!

Raymond Sloan (SRC Director for Client Services) and Beverley Harrison (Further Education Director, Department for the Economy) competing for glory at the SRC Cook Off.
Raymond Sloan (SRC Director for Client Services) and Beverley Harrison (Further Education Director, Department for the Economy) competing for glory at the SRC Cook Off.

The evening was attended by over 100 local hospitality and tourism businesses and organisations, school principals and council representatives from the Newry, Mourne and Down District and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council areas. The challenge event saw the competing teams produce and serve a 4-course menu made from locally sourced ingredients.

The winning team was led by Brian Doran (SRC Chief Executive) and included Emma Marmion (Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade President) and Lynnette McMath (SRC Level 3 Professional Cookery Lecturer).  The opposing team had Raymond Sloan (SRC Director for Client Services) at the helm and included Beverley Harrison (Further Education Director, Department for the Economy) and Adrian Fitzpatrick (SRC Level 3 Professional Cookery Lecturer). 

The competing teams get ready for the ‘SRC Cook Off’ challenge. (L-R) Lynnette McMath (SRC Level 3 Professional Cookery Lecturer), Emma Marmion (Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade President), Brian Doran (SRC Chief Executive), Kevin McAllister (Downtown Radio Presenter and Event Compere), Raymond Sloan (SRC Director for Client Services), Beverley Harrison (Further Education Director, Department for the Economy) and Adrian Fitzpatrick (SRC Level 3 Professional Cookery Lecturer)
The competing teams get ready for the ‘SRC Cook Off’ challenge. (L-R) Lynnette McMath (SRC Level 3 Professional Cookery Lecturer), Emma Marmion (Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade President), Brian Doran (SRC Chief Executive), Kevin McAllister (Downtown Radio Presenter and Event Compere), Raymond Sloan (SRC Director for Client Services), Beverley Harrison (Further Education Director, Department for the Economy) and Adrian Fitzpatrick (SRC Level 3 Professional Cookery Lecturer)

Compered by Kevin McAllister from Downtown Radio, the event aimed to heighten awareness of the hospitality sector as a professional career pathway with work-life balances and excellent progression opportunities.

Opening the event, Michelle McCarthy, SRC Curriculum Area Manager Hospitality and Tourism, said;

“We are delighted to welcome our guests this evening from the areas of business, hospitality, tourism, education and government to witness this culinary team challenge which is sure to reveal passions for the culinary arts as well as impress you with the fruits of their labour!” 

A selection of food produced at the SRC Cook Off event.
A selection of food produced at the SRC Cook Off event.

She went on to say;

“As a College, this passion also permeates through to our extensive course and apprenticeship provision, our proven excellence in supporting ambition and our industry-leading training facilities.  All of this supports our vision to further expand our enviable links and collaboration with businesses who themselves also remain committed to quality, growth and recognition for the hard work that they do.” 

(L-R) Beverley Harrison (Further Education Director, Department for the Economy), Raymond Sloan (SRC Director for Client Services), Emma Marmion (Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade President), Brian Doran (SRC Chief Executive) pictured after the SRC Cook Off Challenge.
(L-R) Beverley Harrison (Further Education Director, Department for the Economy), Raymond Sloan (SRC Director for Client Services), Emma Marmion (Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade President), Brian Doran (SRC Chief Executive) pictured after the SRC Cook Off Challenge.

Michelle went on to highlight the success of the College’s Professional Restaurant Ready programme aimed at upskilling people already working within the industry as well as the launch of their new Higher Level Apprenticeship in Hospitality and Tourism with Specialisms this September.

Mr. Norman McBride, General Manager at the Hastings Ballygally Castle Hotel, also spoke at the event and endorsed the range of SRC courses and apprenticeship opportunities within the hospitality and tourism industry and stressed an increased collaboration between colleges and industry. 

On the evening, money was also raised for the College’s nominated charity, Air Ambulance NI.

If you would like to find out more about the range of hospitality and tourism opportunities at Southern Regional College, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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