THE talented students of Arvalee have, quite literally, cooked up a storm of success and delicious meals at a recent culinary skills competition at South West College, Omagh.
Organised by the Rotary Club of Omagh, the competition featured a group of special educational needs students who have participated in occupational studies in culinary arts at the college, on a day release basis.
Expertly spearheaded by former hotelier and catering tutor, Peter Waterson, who is a current Rotarian, the competition tasked the students with planning, preparing and presenting a main course meal of their choice within a designated time frame.
They had practised their respective dishes for two weeks under the wonderful guidance of their course tutor, Stephen McFarland.
The fun-filled event was held in the Gallery Restaurant at South West College, and judges were ‘overwhelmed’ with the quality of culinary expertise on display; finding it tough to choose an outright winner.
Those with the difficult task of judging the creativity, workmanship, presentation and taste of each dish were the college course tutor, Mr McFarland; Mr Waterson; Captain Sean Fitzgerald, district governor of Rotary in Ireland; Rev Liz FitzGerald, Rotary district secretary; and Hugh Gibson, Omagh Rotary Club vice-president.
The overall winner was the talented Jessica O’Brien of Newtownstewart, who was presented with an engraved silver salver, a specially-embroidered apron, a certificate of participation and a meal voucher for a local restaurant.
There was also an embroidered apron, certificate and restaurant meal voucher for each of the participants.
The Rotary Club has congratulated all of the students on their efforts and thanked the college for hosting the event.
Thanks have also been bestowed to all who contributed to the success of the competition, including Mr Waterson, who took the lead in organising the event – a first for the Rotary Club in its calendar of activities.