Noel McMeel on his Love of Food

Head Chef Noel McMeel from the luxurious Lough Erne Resort gives an interview to More2Explore about his love of food and how he favours using local produce.

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“Noel is a true ambassador for local produce, and has dedicated his entire career to one very simple goal: finding, preparing and serving fresh food in season. For Noel, what we eat has to delight the taste buds, ensnare the senses and nourish body and soul. Since he was a young boy, Noel has been passionate about food which lead him to study Home Economics at school. Since his first attempt at cooking an Orange Cake at his family farm, Noel has travelled all over the world with his profession. Noel McMeel grew up at ‘The Rock’ in Moneyglass near Toomebridge. The youngest of six children, Noel’s father (now retired) was a dairy farmer and stonemason.

After training at Ballymena Technical College, the Northern Ireland Hotel and Catering College (NIHCC) and Belfast Institute Noel landed his first job as an apprentice chef at the Villager, Crossgar. This was followed by a short period with Paul and Jeanne Rankin at Roscoff in Belfast. In 1988, Noel won a scholarship to the United States in Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island and Boston University. This opened doors for Noel to work with some of the most respected chefs in the world, Scholarship from the International Association of Culinary Professionals which allowed him to work alongside theworld famous chef, Jean-Louis Palladin, at the Watergate Hotel, Washington. After returning to Northern Ireland Noel took up position of Head Chef at the Beech Hill Country House Hotel, Londonderry for six years (where he set up and implemented Investors in People and a National Training Awards). Noel went on to Open Trompets Restaurant, Magherafelt, Co. Derry, which featured in the Michelin AA Guide, Harpers & Queen Restaurant Guide and the John McKenna’s Bridgestone Irish Food Guide. From there Noel took up position of Executive Head Chef at Castle Leslie, Co. Monaghan, with responsibility for Castle and Hunting Lodge cuisine, Castle Leslie food products, Castle Leslie Cookery School.” Read More

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