Catering students at South West College are on ‘frying’ form thanks to the launch of a new business engagement initiative which aims to tap into local specialist knowledge in the catering industry.
South West College’s proactive new initiative got off to a sizzling start with a specialist Fish and Chip Frying Masterclass, held at the Dungannon campus, by local Master Frier, Malachy Mallon from the award- winning Dolphin Takeaway. The Dolphin Takeaway recently scooped the title of Area Winner for Tyrone, Fermanagh and L’Derry in the 2015 National Fish and Chip Independent Takeaway Awards and is listed as one of the UK’s Top 20 best takeaways.
Twenty-one eager catering students discovered the recipe for award-winning fish and chips, during practical frying demonstrations which also highlighted key learning areas such as quality, hygiene and the importance of local suppliers and fish sustainability.
The College intends to roll out the Dolphin partnership to the Omagh and Enniskillen campuses, offering even more students specialist skills and insights from the takeaway industry, as well as inspiring a new generation of young fish fryers to explore the growing fish and chip industry which is worth an estimated £1.2 billion in the UK.
Susanne Workman, Head of Health and Life Services at South West College said,
“South West College is a forward thinking and proactive learning hub that recognises the immense benefits of engaging successfully with local business. We have a wealth of specialist expertise right here on our doorstep, a prime example of which is the Dolphin Takeaway and helmsman, Malachy Mallon, a true local industry ambassador with 25 years’ experience, not to mention a clutch of impressive industry awards including the NFFF Quality Award and a FSA 5-star hygiene rating.
“Thanks to our exciting new Dolphin Takeaway partnership, our students will not only gain essential practical skills, but will be inspired by real-life local success and will broaden their perspective on the career options open to them in catering.”
Malachy Mallon is delighted with the South West College partnership and his new voluntary role as a local ambassador for fish and chips. He said,
“I’ve spent my career perfecting the ultimate fish and chips and I’m proud to say there’s 25 years of craftsmanship in every bite at The Dolphin. I’m excited to share my passion for the industry with the next generation, I’ve seen some very talented and eager young people at South West College and it would be great to see our home-grown students starting their own businesses , boosting our local economy and keeping their talent and skills at home. Fish and chips is a growing and highly promoted industry with over 10,500 specialist shops and fantastic professional support from bodies such as the National Federation of Fish Fryers, Seafish and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
“At the Dolphin we strongly believe in using fish that is responsibly and sustainably sourced, as well as traceable though the supply chain. We know the exact vessel that our MSC approved cod comes from - the Karelia II. The students were particularly fascinated by the fact that we can watch our ship live online and were keen to explore the benefits of marine conservation which helps to protect fish stocks and the health of our industry. I’d like to thank South West College for the opportunity to engage with the students and I’m looking forward to delivering more classes very soon.”
Mrs Workman added,
“The takeaway industry is becoming increasingly more sophisticated and attractive to our young caterers, the fish and chip sector in particular. We intend to extend Malachy’s specialist experience and knowledge to help match the learning needs of our students across the campuses. The transfer of knowledge will be two-way, of course. Our students will relish the opportunity to help support the Dolphin’s business with projects they can get their teeth into, such as researching and developing new menu items and exploring fish sustainability. “
The next South West College Frying Master Class hosted by the Dolphin Takeaway will take place in Omagh in early 2015, with additional student engagement projects scheduled to take place throughout the year.