South East Technological University (SETU), in collaboration with the French Embassy, in Dublin, recently hosted a special Goût de France dining experience serving the best of Irish and French cuisine.
Celebrated in over 150 countries worldwide, Goût de France (Taste of France) focuses on the use of local and French ingredients and recipes. The event, organised by students and staff of the Culinary Arts and Hospitality programmes in the Department of Humanities at SETU, took place at the Tourism and Leisure Building on the Cork Road Campus in Waterford.
Among the guests were Councillor Joe Conway, Mayor of Waterford City and County, along with senior staff from the Embassy of France in Ireland, such as Xavier d’Argoeuves, Cultural Counsellor, and Delphine Tessier, Scientific and University Attaché.
Mr d’Argoeuves expressed his admiration for the event, stating: “Goût de / Good France is a unique operation launched in 2015 to celebrate French gastronomy through a series of events organised by the French diplomatic network on five continents.
“I was very impressed by the quality of the Goût de France/Good France lunch prepared and served by the SETU student and staff team, highlighting French gastronomy and the Franco-Irish connection. It was a delicious celebration of cultural exchanges.”
Also present were valued stakeholders with strong ties to both French and Irish culture in the food, tourism, and hospitality sectors, alongside French graduates of SETU, who came to Waterford as Erasmus students and now work locally in senior roles in industry.
Emphasising the significance of the Goût de France lunch, President of SETU, Professor Veronica Campbell, said, “Our connections with France are extremely important to us through our partnerships with over 40 French universities as part of the Erasmus+ exchange programme, through our multiple research partnerships throughout France, and our much-valued links with external partners in the south east region, many who have a strong connection with France.”
Continuing the Franco-Irish theme, before the lunch event, students of the BA (Hons) Hospitality Management and BA (Hons) Culinary Arts programmes hosted a wine-tasting session, serving French wines with an Irish heritage. The wine was paired with an interesting and original selection of locally sourced amuse-bouches under the guidance of oenology lecturer, Nuala Gordon.
In summary, Dr Suzanne Denieffe, Head of School of Humanities, said, “Guests at the event enjoyed a locally sourced, seasonal, and sustainable lunch with a French twist, prepared by the students of the Higher Certificate in Culinary Arts led by programme leader, Chef Edward Hayden. The meal was served by the students from the Higher Certificate of Hospitality Studies and a number of students from the local VITA Community Hub, who have been involved in a successful year-long initiative at SETU to facilitate greater inclusion for all learners at the university, led by lecturer in Hospitality Management, Fabrice Bartholin. The event was a credit to all involved.”