Restaurant & Food news

UU partners with Carluccio Foundation to promote hospitality

Niall McKenna, Belfast-based chef and visiting professor at UU Business School, features in a short film produced by the university.

Ulster University has entered a partnership with the Antonio Carluccio Foundation to encourage young people in Northern Ireland to consider studying in the fields of Hospitality and Culinary Arts Management. The outreach programme is specifically aimed at those who may not be considering university as an option.

Antonio Carluccio, the chef and restaurateur considered by many to be the godfather of Italian gastronomy in the UK, established the Foundation in his name to provide resources and development opportunities to aspiring chefs and hospitality professionals.

Carluccio, who passed away in 2017, devoted much of his time and energy to nurturing the talents of others, particularly those in the early stages of their careers.

Ulster University is committed to Hospitality and Culinary Arts Management as flagship areas of provision. It is also determined to tackle discrepancies in participation in higher education between those from different social groups.

Forming part of the university’s ambitious widening access agenda, the Antonio Carluccio Outreach Programme will involve university lecturers, students and representatives of the local hospitality industry engaging with school leavers through a series of workshops and field-trips that highlight the many exciting career opportunities available in this sector.

The outreach programme, officially launched on 30th September 2020, also features a short film in which recent graduates of Ulster University share their personal stories. In addition, Niall McKenna, Belfast-based chef, owner of restaurants including James Street South and Visiting Professor at Ulster University Business School, outlines his belief that hospitality offers outstanding career opportunities.

For Professor Una McMahon-Beattie, Head of Ulster University’s Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, this new partnership will support a key priority.

“There is clearly an alignment of values between the university and the Antonio Carluccio Foundation,” said Prof McMahon-Beattie. “The university has a strong sense of civic purpose, which is grounded in helping to advance society in Northern Ireland. We are determined to encourage participation in higher education for those who are most able, but least likely, to join university courses.

“We also believe that hospitality and culinary arts management provide the perfect platform for those who are creative, people-oriented and have an entrepreneurial spirit.”

The launch of the Antonio Carluccio Outreach programme comes as Ulster University has again been ranked top in the UK for hospitality and culinary arts management.

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