Hello, Sinead here finally checking in after finishing up at the Slieve Donard Hotel, time flies when you are having fun as they say and that is certainly true for my time in Newcastle, Co. Down. Its hard to believe how fast the past 6 months of my placement went and that I along with my classmates are facing into our last year of studies in Waterford.
Since my last update, work had been more hectic than ever, I don’t think there was more than 5 days over the last 3 months that we didn’t have a function or event on. This had resulted in long hard hours being put in by all the kitchen staff to keep the show on the road. I had been moving around the kitchen a lot more, doing starters, the pass, helping in pastry and doing a few shifts in the lighthouse lounge.
Now that I am looking back on my experience of working in the Slieve Donard, I can definitely say that you get a real all round experience in the kitchen. Within the 6 months of my placement I worked in every section of the kitchen. From this I can say that I really did get a good overall experience to the kitchen and therefore it has helped me with the decisions that must be made ahead of fourth year as to what area one would like to specialise in.
Working in the Slieve Donard taught me lots of things. Firstly to never stop concentrating as it may result in slicing the tip of your finger off but that is a story for another day! I learned many lessons from my time working but the most important thing was to never give up. Our Head Chef, Hazel Magill always kept the show on the road no matter what obstacles were thrown in the way and it was always amazing to see the way problems could be easily fixed with a calm mind. I feel I can now face any problems that may be put in my way in future jobs.
Leaving the Slieve Donard was emotional, I made some great friends during my time on placement, especially all the kitchen staff. When enduring hard days and long hours its always nice to know that the team you are part of are there to help and always try to put a smile on your face. I will truly miss being part of that crazy kitchen team.
Finally I would recommend everyone to visit the northern coast of Ireland. I was lucky enough to get a week off where I invited my parents up and we travelled all along the coast from the Mourne Mountains to the Giants Causeway and back down again to the HMS Titanic. It really is truly spectacular scenery and the hidden gem of Ireland’s coast.
That’s all for now, wishing all the best on your endeavours wherever you find yourselves, Sinead!