A young man from Ballyclare, who is training to be a chef, was honoured at a prestigious awards ceremony held in Belfast.
Jordan Jenkins won silver at the Culinary Ability Awards ceremony, held in the Titanic Exhibition Centre. The awards were part of IFEX 2016 and showcased food and drink.
The 17-year-old picked up the accolade after preparing a meal consisting of a crisp pan fried salmon fillet with a Mediterranean potato, chorizo and fennel melody tossed in a lemon and herb oil served with a white wine foam and balsamic glaze.
He currently works as a trainee chef with Dr B’s Kitchen, which he joined after leaving school just seven months ago. Dr B’s is run by Barnardo’s to train young people with learning disabilities for a career in the hospitality industry.
After being presented with the award, Jordan said: “When I heard about the competition it really appealed to me, but at school I would never have gone for it. I wouldn’t have had the confidence to cook in front of so many people and judges, but Dr B’s makes you feel you can do it. After I won I’d the confidence to go straight in and work at the pass which I had never done before.”
Dr B’s Chef/Mentor Andrew Gibb said: “I’m delighted for Jordan. He worked incredibly hard to perfect his dish and was under a lot of pressure on the day competing against the other entrants and under the scrutiny of the judges, with only 40 minutes from start to presentation, but he rose to the challenge and we are very proud of him.”
Once Jordan completes his training, he will move into a supported work placement. He says he was encouraged to cook by his grandmother and definitely sees his future career in the catering industry.