Visit By HE Stéphane Crouzat, Ambassador of France to Ireland.
LYIT School of Tourism, Killybegs hosted a lunch for the Ambassador of France to Ireland, HE Stéphane Crouzat on Tuesday 6th March. The Ambassador was accompanied on the day by Marc Daumas, Attaché for Scientific and Education Collaboration; Jillian Harpur, Economic Attaché; Maxence Salendre, Press Officer; and Bernard Mrozinski.
The event, organised by Ciarán Ó hAnnracháin, Head of Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts, was the second time a French Ambassador visited the Killybegs Campus as part of the France Ireland Culinary Arts, Hospitality and Tourism (FICAHT) Network, which was established with support from the French Embassy and the Higher Education Authority in Ireland to enhance collaboration between Irish and French HEIs, offering education and training programmes for the tourism industry, through the Erasmus+ programme.
To create additional tangible evidence of this collaboration project, Irish HEIs were invited to participate in Goût de France / Good Food France, an event organise by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Chef Alain Ducasse, which is an initiative to promote French Food both in France and around the Globe. Restaurants register with Goût de France and promote their menus and businesses in this way. The project now has over 3000 restaurants and 150 Embassies over five continents engaged in this celebration of French Gastronomy. Irish HEIs that participate in this project do so by hosting a lunch or dinner to which the Ambassador and his team attend. LYIT Killybegs have been involved in this project since its inception and have enjoyed the support of the French Embassy in promoting the event. This year, 40 guests, including councillors, local business leaders, representatives from partner HEIs in the region, tourism organisation representatives, the media, LYIT executive and students enjoyed a menu inspired by Chef Paul Bocuse, and prepared and presented by the students of LYIT Killybegs.
Mr Crouzat described on his journey from Dublin to Donegal and remarked that the only evidence of crossing borders was the mobile phone signals from service providers. “Brexit is of extreme political importance to both Ireland and France and I can assure you that we both will be working very closely together”, he said during his address. He added, “From a business perspective it is our priority to resolve this situation. It is important for the UK to have a strong relationship with Ireland and France”.
The Ambassador and the President presented Certificates of Participation to the students involved and the Ambassador presented the School with a copy of “Institut Paul Bocuse Gastronomique: The Definitive Step-by-step Guide to Culinary Excellence”.
On March 21st, the second event in the project, The Dairy Chef Competition, will take place at the Résidence of the Ambassador in Dublin, where culinary students from Ireland and France will compete, with prizes including “stages” at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Michelin Star Restaurants in France. LYIT School of Tourism will be represented by Rourke Griffin, a second year student of Culinary Arts.
LYIT School of Tourism is represented on FICAHT by Ciarán Ó hAnnracháin, Head of Department of Hospitlaity, Tourism and Culinary Arts, and this engagement has resulted in increased numbers of staff and students engaging in incoming and outgoing study and work placement projects between Ireland and France, supported through Erasmus+.