SERC has the recipe for success at annual IFEX competition

South Eastern Regional College (SERC) Hospitality and Culinary Arts students and lecturers are celebrating a hugely successful week at IFEX, the prestigious showcase of the latest Northern Ireland food and drink products and services to the food, retail and hospitality industries, hosted at Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast recently.

Putting their skills to the test in competition against industry professionals and students and lecturers from across Northern Ireland, the SERC team from Bangor, Downpatrick, Lisburn, and Newtownards Campuses were

awarded three gold, four silver and seven bronze medals, and four Certificates of Merit.

The Downpatrick Campus wins included a gold medal for Yehor Chukhil (Killinchy), Level 2 Professional Chef Traineeship for his chicken dish in the Junior Skills section; and from the same course, Chef Competitor, Louis

McClelland (Newcastle) with Chef Assistant, Chloe Kelly (Downpatrick) who took silver in the Student Culinarian of the Year competition.

Patisserie and Confectionery Lecturer, Ruth Doherty, took gold in the Senior Section of the Edible Art competition with her Bridal Bouquet creation; with her students from the Level 2 Diploma in Professional Bakery and Level 3 Patisserie and Confectionery at Lisburn Campus, awarded: Naomi Fox (Lisburn) silver for Novelty Cake Senior; Wilma Mavindidze (Dunmurry) bronze, for Novelty Cake Senior; Carly Buchanan (Belfast) silver, for Decorative Exhibit Senior; Evangeline Johnston (Banbridge) bronze, for Novelty Cake Junior; Roisin Walsh (Belfast), bronze, for Afternoon Tea Senior; and Gemma Diamond (Belfast), bronze for Restaurant Innovation – Dessert of the Year; with Merit Awards going to Faye McGrogran (Lisburn), for Wedding Cake; Seraphina Willis (Crumlin), for Novelty Cake Junior; and Amy O’Neill (Lisburn) for Celebration Cake.

From Bangor Campus Michael Thompson (Belfast), from the Level 2 Professional Chef Traineeship at Bangor Campus, lifted a gold medal in the Riso Gallo Young Risotto Chef of the Year regional heat, and a bronze for

the Classical Junior Chicken; Gabby Harrison (Newtownards) from the Level 2 Professional Chef Traineeship took bronze in the Vision 2024 Contemporary/Modern Hot Starter and merit in the Plant Based Chef Challenge (Vegan); and a bronze going to the team comprising Richard Vohar (Kircubbin), from the Level 3 FDQ Professional Chef, Chloe Luxton (Bangor), from the Level 2 Traineeship Hospitality and Tourism Team Member; Kenzie McClelland (Bangor) from the Level 3 BTEC Diploma Hospitality and Events and Ben Fleming (Bangor), from the Foundation Degree in Culinary Arts for the Intercollege Cook and Serve Challenge.

Taylor Pietersen (Newtownards), from the Level 2 Traineeship Professional Chef at Newtownards Campus took silver in the NI Culinary Ability Award.

Applications are now open for courses commencing September 2024, visit to unlock your future #BetterOffAtSERC.