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Larne teen wins gold in the IFEX 2018 Culinary Ability Awards

Larne teen wins gold in the IFEX 2018 Culinary Ability Awards

Nineteen year old Aaron Campbell from Larne who recently won gold in the IFEX 2018 Culinary Ability Awards together with Barnardo’s Chef Mentor Andrew Gibb.

Larne teen wins gold in the IFEX 2018 Culinary Ability Awards

Nineteen year old Aaron Campbell from Larne who recently won gold in the IFEX 2018 Culinary Ability Awards

Nineteen year old Aaron Campbell from Larne, a trainee with Dr B’s Kitchen in Belfast recently won gold in the Culinary Ability Awards held at IFEX 2018.

Dr B’s Kitchen is a Barnardo’s run restaurant which trains young people with learning disabilities for a career in the hospitality industry.

Aaron worked with Barnardo’s Chef Mentor Andrew Gibb to create his winning ‘Duck and Dive’ dish which wowed the judges at the industry gold standard catering competition. The dish was composed of cherry wood smoked duck with a wasabi oyster and a clear fish broth ramen.

Aaron who has been a trainee chef with Dr B’s for seven months says he has always had an interest in oriental cuisine:

“I have a friend who celebrates Chinese New Year and that’s where my interest comes from. I love the different styles and tastes. It’s the flavours and different techniques they use which I really like. I would eventually like to travel and learn more about Chinese, Korean and Japanese food.”

Aaron and Andrew worked through different concepts to perfect their Asian inspired menu.

In the final of the competition Aaron was up against six other competitors and had just forty minutes to prepare and cook his dish. He also had the opportunity to meet celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli.

Aaron says he was very proud to win:

“I was so pleased just to get to IFEX and to get the dish completed. The result was a complete bonus.”

He says he could not have done it without the support of Dr B’s and Andrew Gibb:

“Andrew gave me the push and taught me so much. All the staff at Dr B’s taught me something new and I would like to thank them all so much. It has been a pleasure to train here with them. In the future I would like to go and work abroad but I need more experience and a good foundation and that is what I am getting at Dr B’s.”

Part of Aaron’s prize is a scholarship to Deanes Restaurants for a week.

Dr B’s Kitchen is funded by the European Social Fund, Departments of the Economy and Communities and Barnardo’s.

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