AN Armagh chef, who has been nominated for Yes Chefs ‘Young Chef of the Year’ award says cooking in Northern Ireland is becoming more and more competitive due to the amount of young people interested in food, where it comes from and how it’s put on the plate.
Wayne Elliott, who is 21-year-old, has been working in Armagh’s popular Uluru Bar & Grill for over two years now.
He said after two years of training in cookery school in Portadown College he is now in the thick of the pressures which every restaurant kitchen brings.
The young chef, who was originally studying sports science at college, decided to give cooking a go and it was only the he realised he was quite good at it.
Wayne said: “I did my first year placement in a restaurant in Portadown but then went to Uluru Bar & Grill in my second year.
“The pressure is unreal but it’s a good pressure and you have to learn to be able to cope with the heat. There is a hierarchy in a kitchen but when you come in last you have to expect to get all the jobs you don’t really want to be doing.
“It’s a hectic environment and especially now Uluru Bar & Grill is in its larger premises we are under even more pressure because keeping our customers happy, keeping our standards high and always continually raising the bar, means we need to be on the ball at all times.”
Wayne said there is such a huge emphasis on food now that becoming a chef is very competitive.
“I was lucky,” he said. “Dean Coppard has taught me everything I know. I know I have a lot more to learn from him so I am happy with that. There is so much talk about food and next year is the year of food and drink tourism in Northern Ireland. The emphasis on food is phenomenal. Young people are becoming more and more aware of food, where it comes from and how best we want it served on a plate.
“There’s only so much anyone can learn in a classroom. The real experience starts when you work in a popular restaurant which serves authentic cuisine. It’s very relaxed and casual for our customers which is perfect. The kitchen is a different story. It can be stressful but when you are a chef, it’s a good stress.
“Uluru Bar & Grill is open every day and we have a very active calendar of events which means a very busy kitchen. But we love it and we hope our customers continue to do so too.”
For more information on Uluru Bar & Grill call 028 3751 8051.
Notes To Editor:
- Uluru Bar & Grill is an award winning restaurant where chefs cook with an Australian twist to create an exciting culinary experience. Based in the heart of Armagh city centre, Executive Chef Dean Coppard leads a team of rising chefs to produce the best casual dining experience in our food heartland.
- For further information or interview requests contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 9569 | 07709805379 | mgmpr.co.uk | Food and Drink PR | Public Relations Northern Ireland | Public Relations UK | Brand Journalism Northern Ireland | Brand Journalism UK | Brand Journalism Experts