MICHELIN-STARRED chef Michael Deane visited the Belfast campus this week to work with students in the Department for Hospitality and Tourism Management, and was also guest of honour at an event celebrating his appointment as visiting professor in the Ulster Business School.
After spending time in the Academy kitchens sharing his skills and insights with students, Michael paid tribute to the work of the University of Ulster staff and their engagement with the hospitality industry, recognising the blend of practical and management skills they give to their students – a blend vital for success in the sector.
“The Department, following its relocation to the Belfast campus in July 2008, has re-launched the BSc Hons degree in Culinary Arts Management.
“This programme, with its team of dedicated staff, provides its students with an essential mix of practical and management modules. Nowadays, the head chef has to be competent in a range of areas – not only just in cooking.
Ã¢€¨“We have to be involved in marketing and promotion, in human resource and staff development and in finance – ensuring that the figures balance at the end of the session – and I am delighted to see that this honours degree meets all these requirements.
“But we cannot forget the importance of key practical skills. Before the commis/junior chef/chef de partie, can become the head/executive chef, s/he must be taught the practical skills, the rudiments of cooking, the history of food and given the encouragement and wherewithal to apply themselves, to grow and develop their knowledge and love of food, to explore and to become creative and inspired.
“I hope in my role as Visiting Professor that I can go some way to developing these key practical and managerial skills in Northern Ireland’s future talented chefs.
Welcoming Mr Deane and his family to the campus, Head of Department Una McMahon Beattie said:
“Michael’s firm support for the University and UBS, coupled with his extensive network of contacts and level of influence in hospitality and tourism business community are considered to be important factors which provide a strategic advantage for the University and we very much look forward to his inspiring interaction with the Department.“
A gallery of images from the top chef’s workshop and talk can be seen at the link below: please copy and paste the link into the URL address section of your browser.