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Chef takeover group 2020
The final year Culinary Arts students

Twelve Culinary Arts students are taking over the kitchen of a Waterford restaurant

Diners are in for a very special experience


Twelve final year Culinary Arts students from Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) will be taking over the kitchen of Bellissimo restaurant in Waterford later this month.


The students will be working across a variety of roles, from head chef to pastry specialist, in Bellissimo's kitchen for four nights (24th to 27th March). They have created tasting menus, with a strong focus on local produce, to serve during the takeover.

The event is presented by WITPallas Foods and ABP in partnership with Bellissimo restaurant. Bellissimo’s owner Tony McMahon is one of the main instigators of the event which aims to highlight how creative and rewarding a career as a chef can be. He explains, "Collaboration between all of the parties involved can only make our industry stronger and better and, most importantly, give our valued customers something to really enjoy and be part of. Fantastic food, talented chefs, a glimpse into our culinary future - and an enjoyable night out.”

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Chef and WIT lecturer Michael Quinn has been working closely with the students ahead of the takeover. “Our students have used everything they’ve learned throughout their four years to pair mouth-watering ingredients, combining theory, practice, creativity and a phenomenal sense of adventure along the way," he says. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience the best of Irish produce curated by the best of Irish student culinary talent."

As for the students themselves, they’re looking forward to the challenge. We caught up with three of them to find out how they feel about the takeover.

“A lot of work is being put into this project behind the scenes, we’re constantly practising and perfecting all elements of the menu. Our class has only cooked together at collegiate level so I'm really looking forward to transitioning into a more professional setting and showcasing our combined skill sets.” Danielle Kehoe from Campile, New Ross, Co Wexford

Sinead O'Sullivan
Sinead O'Sullivan


“Chef Takeover is giving us an excellent opportunity to showcase the skills we have learned from our past four years of study both in Ireland and abroad. We have come together to create this exciting and innovative menu, which looks at both seasonal and local ingredients. I am excited to see all our hard work come to fruition.” Sinead O’Sullivan from Clonmult, Dungourney, Co Cork

 READ MORE: Flour power: our beginner’s guide to pasta

Michaela Quigley
Michaela Quigley


“I am excited to showcase my skills in the Chef Takeover through doing the various courses. It will be a good experience for us as a group to showcase just how far we have come over the last four years. I cannot wait for the guests to experience such a wonderful menu!” Michaela Quigley, Ferrybank, Co Waterford.

The chef takeover runs from 24th to 27th March in Bellissimo restaurant. Tickets for the six-course tasting menu (€60) can be booked here, or via Cheftakeover.com.