Niall McKenna, chef of the award-winning James Street South restaurant in Belfast, has called on the public to support the next generation of chefs, saying that "they are the future of dining in Belfast".
The chef, who also runs the Cookery School, created an apprenticeship programme with Belfast Metropolitan College in 2014, which sees them employ and train 8 people, between the ages of 16 and 24, at his restaurant and Cookery School.
Belfast Metropolitan College recently launched its fine-dining Linen Lounge, casual eateries the Scullery and the Yard to the public earlier this week, which will see them be fully staffed by students. The restaurants are designed to equip students with necessary "real life" industry experience with the aim that they will be ready to work in any kitchen upon finishing college, reports Belfastlive.co.uk.
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"Chefs today, we are going to help build the new generations of restaurants from apprentices coming from us. The next 10 to 15 years within Belfast, it's going to be something special," added McKenna.