A showcase of years of hard work, creativity and finesse is on the menu when the final-year BA (Hons) in Culinary Arts students from Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) take over the kitchen of Bellissimo restaurant in Waterford for four unmissable nights in March.
The 12 students have created tasting menus with a strong focus on exceptional local produce and will be working the kitchen at the event in a variety of roles, from head chef to pastry specialist.
One of those students is Shannon Kingston from Ardfield, Clonakilty. Growing up, Shannon had her heart set on being a primary school teacher but in secondary school she took Home Economics, which led to her competing in and twice winning the school cooking competition for ‘A Taste of West Cork’ festival. This sparked her interest in the world of food, which led to her attending Waterford Institute of Technology. Shannon is in her final year of BA (Hons) in Culinary Arts but has previously graduated with a higher certificate in Culinary Arts from WIT. Shannon has also ventured to Canada where she spent a semester studying in Humber College, Toronto, which opened her up to experience a new part of the world.
Throughout her culinary career, Shannon has worked in a variety of different businesses, form cafes to restaurants to hotels. She started her career in the four-star Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa, where she found her love for the fast-paced kitchen industry. She has spent the last seven months working in the Cultra Inn on the grounds of the 5-star Culloden Estate and Spa. This has helped her further her skill set and produce dishes in a faster paced environment.
In the future, Shannon hopes to graduate with a BA(HONS) in Culinary Arts with a specialisation in pastry. Which will lead to her putting the foundations on her plan to own her own bakery. Where she will produce freshly baked classic pastries and cakes with a modern twist.
This event is presented by the Waterford Institute of Technology, Pallas Foods and ABP in partnership with Bellissimo. It marks the inaugural stage of a much bigger project that aims to design a brighter future for Ireland’s food industry.