Belfast Telegraph

Chef Roisin's food is fit for a Queen as she lands a job at Palace

By Rebecca Black

A Northern Ireland chef has received Royal approval, winning a job in the kitchens of the Queen.

Roisin McKeown managed to impress the Countess of Wessex with one of her canapes, before going on to land her dream job as a Chef de Partie at Buckingham Palace.

The 32-year-old from Downpatrick worked as a care assistant before enrolling at the South Eastern College to pursue her dream.

She has already completed a work placement at Buckingham Palace, but remains tightlipped about the Queen's favourite meals, describing the menu only as "very varied".

However, former Royal chef and author of Eating Royally, Darren McGrady, previously revealed Her Majesty tends to avoid garlic or too much onion, and she prefers well done parts of meat from her Sunday roast, as well as having a passion for eating seasonal food.

Earlier this year, Roisin made her name as a rising star of the industry, wowing judges with her culinary expertise to finish second in the Craft Guild of Chefs 50th anniversary canape competition which took place in the Palace kitchens, where she had to prepare canapes for tasting by the Countess of Wessex, who then selected a winner.

Roisin said she is "over the moon".

"Retraining was the best decision I ever made," she said. 

"After speaking with my tutor Michael Gillies, he suggested sending off my CV and portfolio to Buckingham Palace and I was invited for a trial - which must have gone really well as I was offered a job as a Chef de Partie.

"I was elated when I was offered the role. I feel privileged and am excited about this once-in-a-lifetime experience. I am hoping to gain valuable experience working in a flagship kitchen, working under the tutelage of some of the most talented chefs in the industry and working on the production of a very varied menu."

Roisin completed her Level 3 Professional Cookery diploma, studying part time.

SERC Professional Cookery tutor Michael Gillies said he is extremely happy for her.

"She has worked really hard and deserves this excellent start to her career in hospitality," he said. "The experience she will gain will stay with her for the rest of her professional career.

"She is a great example of how students can embrace what professional cookery has to offer and directly benefit from it."

Belfast Telegraph


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