Chefs in Northern Ireland have joined forces to back a new professional network aimed at attracting new blood to the profession as well as looking after those already working in the industry.
The newly-launched Chef Network aims to bring chefs working in all sectors across Ireland together to communicate, collaborate, share and innovate.
A number of chefs came together earlier this week at the Mount Charles-owned George’s of the Market restaurant in Belfast to discuss the initiative.
Trevor Annon, chariman of Mount Charles, one of Ireland’s top foodservice contractors, is urging as many chefs as possible to get involved.
Annon, who is also a board member of the Irish Foodservice Suppliers Alliance, (IFSA) which initiated and funded the Chef Network, said: “A network such as this one will prove extremely beneficial for Mount Charles and for chefs working across all sectors of Ireland’s vibrant culinary community.
“It will foster greater engagement and cooperation between chefs, focusing on education and training as well as business and professional development. I would encourage our colleagues within the contract catering industry in Northern Ireland to become involved, as the major companies in the Republic of Ireland have. This kind of collaboration can only make us stronger, more dynamic, more knowledgable and ultimately, more successful.”
The network is designed to support chefs of all levels at every stage in their careers, including those just starting out on their journey. They will be able to use the forum to seek advice and job opportunities.
Ruth Hegarty, head of community at Chef Network, said: “The principal aims of Chef Network will be to attract and retain chefs in the industry, to improve standards of training and collaboration with the education sector, and to promote and maintain culinary skills. But most of all, Chef Network is about camaraderie – encouraging chefs to work together, learn from each other and share knowledge, ideas and resources.”
The network can be accessed at chefnetwork.ie.
Main image: Trevor Annon, chairman of Mount Charles and Irish Foodservice Suppliers Alliance board member; Richard Martin, chef at Mount Charles-owned Fed & Watered; Ruth Hegarty, head of community at Chef Network; Stephen Holland, executive sous chef at Lough Erne Resort; and Cathal Geoghegan, managing director of Mount Charles.