Food – Life, Passion, Art & Fun!
I remember attending the Shannon College “Open Day” way back in 2007. After the long drive down, I was hit with nerves as I walked into the college. The look on Dad’s face implied that this might be the place for me when we were immediately greeted by a student. He kindly asked us to have a seat in the foyer while he went to look for someone to give a tour. I sat there baffled by the fact that the college building was situated in the grounds of an airport, students all wore uniforms and there seemed to be loads of Chinese nationalities. What was this place!?! Ms. Joan Markham (met previously at the Higher Options in RDS) gave me an insight to the daily routine of a SCHM student. The one thing that stuck out most to me was the college’s own restaurant, I was sold once I saw the kitchen! I asked Ms. Markham could students take extra classes in the kitchen, and she replied, “if that’s the way you feel then maybe a course in professional cookery would be better suited for you.” Oh imagine how different my life would be if I had taken your advice back then!
First year of college was amazing. I’ll try to sum it up in short:
For second year we were sent abroad for a year long industry work placement. This was my first experience working in a hotel. Departments I covered were Kitchen, Housekeeping, Stewarding and F&B. Where we were placed came down to the language we studied. I studied French and did my placement in the Sheraton Brussels Airport Hotel. Other students were sent to Barcelona, Frankfurt, Geneva, Lausanne, Luxembourg, Nuremberg & Provence. Best part of that year was taking my annual holidays (a month) and visiting friends across Europe, back home to Ireland and then back to Brussels for just under €200!
Third year of college. Back to a recession struck Ireland
Fourth year was different as a few of us from the year transferred to NUI Galway. This meant no more uniform, no more language classes, no research project and no Chef Ruane chasing after you if you didn’t go to class! We still came down to Shannon for nights outs and big occasions. Tell ye one thing, Shannon’s great for being spoon fed.
Finally there was fifth year, another industry placement but basically my first job. I made an executive decision that my career should be in the kitchen. I was successful in both my application and work trial for the Gleneagles Hotel. I made many great friends and Scotland will always have a place in my heart.