High culinary hopes for Co Armagh’s Hollie

Hollie Forde started out in the kitchen as a pastry chef in a small family run restaurant, but two years ago secured a placement year at Gleneagles, thanks to Ulster University’s culinary arts management programme.

While based at the five-star resort, the 22-year-old Richhill girl was given freedom to be creative and to use her own initiative to complete daily tasks, impressing the senior team with a project to control food waste.

Robert Ashe presents the award for Culinary Student of the Year  to Lorraine Ford, who accepted it on behalf of her daughter Hollie

Robert Ashe presents the award for Culinary Student of the Year to Lorraine Ford, who accepted it on behalf of her daughter Hollie

She was also selected to join 10 chefs to cook for players at the Ryder Cup. After Gleneagles, Hollie moved on to a placement at Claridges where she helped devise the Wimbledon afternoon tea menu.

Hollie now works as a pastry chef at Deanes Eipic in Belfast, which is part of the Michael Deane empire of restaurnts. She says: “While at Gleneagles I was given a lot of freedom to be creative and to use my initiative to complete daily tasks and challenges in order to make the day to day running of the pastry kitchen smooth.”