HE has big boots to fill to replace the renowned Noel McMeel, but Stephen Holland, the new head chef at the Lough Erne Resort, says ‘pressure is for tyres’.
The change at the helm in the kitchen of the hotel on the outskirts of Enniskillen, comes as Mr McMeel is stepping down after 15 years in the top position.
A ‘succession planning’ process was key in the changeover, explained the new head chef.
“We started a year and a half ago in that process, and looking back now if we tried that process again, we couldn’t have done it any better,” said Stephen.
He’s keen to maintain the same principals in the kitchen as his predecessor.
“What we, I and Noel [McMeel] have strived to do is to cook really tasty food,” said the proud chef, “it always wins. Good tasty food wins the day.”
The Lough Erne chef has worked across the world, spending stints in America, Australia, Dubai and New Zealand.
He’s hoping to bring different aspects of those experiences to his new role at the Enniskillen hotel.
“I was in California in 2019 and I was speaking to an Israeli chef about rice pudding and the whole cultural experience of that really brought me back to what good old rice pudding was. I explained that to her and she really understood and that’s what food does,” he recalled.
“It’s to talk about our food. Be confident about it, talk about our great suppliers in Northern Ireland and ultimately on a world stage.”
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