Dr B’s

Hi guys I humbly share the below with you. Please have a read and acknowledge the great work that these guys are doing!!!!

Barnardo’s Dr B’s Kitchen trainee chefs Jordan Jenkins from Ballyclare and Lauren McCracken from Comber are celebrating after winning silver and gold medals respectively at the IFEX Culinary Ability Awards held recently at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast.

 Barnardo’s Dr B’s Kitchen trainee chefs Jordan Jenkins from Ballyclare and Lauren McCracken from Comber are celebrating after winning silver and gold medals respectively at the IFEX Culinary Ability Awards held recently at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast. They are pictured with Dr B’s Chef/Mentor Andrew Gibb.

Dr B’s Trainee Chefs Cook Up A Storm at IFEX

Two teenage trainee chefs from Dr B’s Kitchen in Belfast city centre are celebrating after winning gold and silver medals at the IFEX 2016 Culinary Ability Awards.

Eighteen year old Lauren McCracken from Comber and old Jordan Jenkins (17) from Ballyclare took part in the Culinary Ability Awards held as part of IFEX 2016 and won gold and silver respectively.

Lauren has been a trainee with Dr B’s Kitchen for a year and a half and Jordan joined after leaving school seven months ago. Dr B’s is run by Barnardo’s children’s charity to train young people with learning disabilities for a career in the hospitality industry. It has been running for twenty five years and has an 80% success rate in placing its trainees in paid employment.

Lauren who won gold for her seared duck fillet accompanied with ravioli stuffed with orange and cardamom confit says the support from the staff and other trainees really helped: “I really wanted to take part in the competition and we had a cook off in Dr B’s to be selected. We had to put in a lot of extra work to perfect our dishes but we had great support from everybody. On the day it was amazing. I was overwhelmed by the support from everyone at Dr B’s, it brought tears to my eyes.”

Jordan who prepared a crisp pan fried salmon fillet with a Mediterranean potato, chorizo and fennel melody to take the silver award says taking part has increased his self-confidence: “When I heard about the competition it really appealed to me but at school I would never have gone for it, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to cook in front of so many people and judges but Dr B’s makes you feel you can do it. After I won the medal I had the confidence to go straight in and work on the pass back at Dr B’s which I had never done before.”
Dr B’s Chef/Mentor Andrew Gibb said: “We are delighted for Lauren and Jordan. They worked incredibly hard to perfect their dishes and were under a lot of pressure on the day competing against the other entrants and under the scrutiny of the judges with only 40 minutes from start to presentation, but they rose to the challenge and we are so proud of both of them.”

Both Lauren and Jordan became interested in cooking when they were young through their grandmothers and in the future Lauren would like to open her own bakery like her nanny had. Currently Jordan is continuing his training at Dr B’s while Lauren is due to start full time employment with the Sweet Tree Café in Dundonald.

Hillsborough Oyster Festival 2016

Am so excited to share the below regarding the 2016 Oyster Festival in Hillsborough, will you go and try the oysters?

Oyster Festival snaps up double-accolade success


The Hillsborough International Oyster Festival has two reasons to celebrate; it’s been named as one of the Top 10 food festivals in the world to visit in 2016 by WorldGuide and as one of the best Irish seafood festivals in 2016 by Coast Monkey.

Now in its 24th year the Festival is a popular fixture in the Northern Ireland food calendar and its placement from WorldGuide, an online travel and lifestyle resource, has helped put this local event and Northern Ireland firmly on the world platform. It ranks alongside the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival in Australia, World Gourmet Summit in Singapore, Salon du Chocolat in Paris, Taste of Chicago in Illinois and Lona Coffee Cultural Festival in Hawaii.

Claudia Hellmann, Travel & Food Editor at WorldGuide commented, “It was not easy to decide which food events to pick as our top recommendations for 2016 because there are so many exciting festivals in all parts of the world. But picking the Hillsborough Oyster Festival was easy. I have always loved it for its unique mix of the finest locally-sourced produce, laid-back atmosphere and exciting events such as the World Oyster Eating Championship and it has such a varied programme that it’s one of the most entertaining food events I know.”

The Festival received its listing as one of the best Irish seafood festivals in 2016 from Coast Monkey, an online resource that shares news and information about the Irish Coast.

“We are absolutely delighted to have been named as one of the world’s top food festivals and one of the best Irish seafood festivals in 2016 and especially in NI Year of Food and Drink,” said Don Spence, chairman of the Hillsborough International Oyster Festival organising committee. “Every year we strive to host a bigger and better event that attracts visitors to the village and showcases the very best of local produce and seafood.”

This year the Hillsborough International Oyster Festival takes place from Tuesday 30th August to Sunday 4th September. For further information visit http://www.hillsboroughoysterfestival.com

McCombs Grub crawl

Today a group of intrepid food lovers were whisked away on #MccombsGrubCrawl. This was organised by @officialmccombs and @duffyrafferty. Our departure was at 10.15 from Glengall Street on a luxury minibus. 
First stop was @AbernethyButter where we met Will and Allison Abernethy. Their wee enterprise supplies fresh, home made butter (salted, unsalted, smoked and dulce) to the likes of Fortnum & Mason, Heston Blumenthal and Ox to name but a few. 

 Allison made some fresh soda bread and Will made some fresh butter and we got to sample the soda and butter with jam and tea and home made fudge. It tasted great. It’s so good and endearing to see that our local endeavours have spread to all corners of the U.K. and reached all echelons of society

 After here we were on our way to @KilmeganCider to meet Andrew and see his local County Down cider enterprise. Andrew himself should consider a career in show biz as he was a great character and truly engaged all of us and had a real way with words. He told us the history of cider in County Down and let us all sample the apple juice!!

 We were all feeling peckish by this stage so onwards to @PoachersLisbane for a grandiose feast. We had a sharing platter consisting of white bait, pate, griddles bread, goats cheese and crab cakes. This was followed by either fish and chips or chicken and rosti or cheese leek and potato pie. All the meals were tasty and portion sizes were great and well filling. For dessert there was a selection of cheese and biscuits with chutneys followed by tea/coffee. 

 The Grub Crawl tour is being offered by McCombs and will cost £65. For a full day including meals, drinks and tour guide this is actually a very goo deal. So who wants to try it?