A young County Down chef who has just got a job at one of Gordon Ramsay’s top restaurants has encouraged other aspiring cooks to pursue a career in the industry.
Nineteen-year-old Alex Greene has just been appointed demi chef de partie at the fiery celebrity chef’s flagship London restaurant at Claridge’s Hotel.
Alex began his career at the Bucks Head in Dundrum where he worked for five years before joining Deane’s in Belfast.
A student of Kilkeel High School and then Southern Regional College’s Newry campus, he was Culinary Student of the Year at SRC in 2007 and 2008, and named Junior Chef of the Year at the province’s biggest food exhibition IFEX in 2008.
Alex studied for his NVQ levels 1, 2 and 3 in hospitality and catering in Newry before taking up a placement in Claridge's during February, after which he was offered a permanent post. The young chef praised the newly launched Junior Chefs' Academy and urged other young people to consider a career in the kitchen.
“Newry campus, where I studied while also working as a chef, is one of six regional colleges running the Junior Chefs' Academy which was developed by contract caterers Compass Group. It's vital that chef training meets the industry needs and inspiring 12 to 16 year olds to consider a career as a chef can only be good for everyone,” he said.
More than 100 young people across Northern Ireland will be graduating from the first Junior Chefs' Academy at the end of March and as a programme finale its organisers People 1st will hold a special celebration event in April, where some of the top junior chefs will be challenged to cook a “Meal Fit for a Minister” at Parliament Buildings in Belfast.