From the very start the Annual Conference has provided an opportunity for students to take part through practical competitions in which their skills are put to the test in front of judging panels made up of teachers and other specialists. And among the competitors one often witnesses an invigorating spirit of competition. The competitions follow the principle of the ‘multinational’ team ‘sentenced’ to communicate in English or French – the AEHT’s two official languages, and this sometimes leads to problems in certain teams in which drawing lots has brought together miss-matched partners.

Everyone agreed that in Killarney the organisation of the competitions was faultless and that the work of the competitions sub-committee is now bearing fruit by keeping the number of complaints to a bare minimum.



Most of the competitions took place within the Gleneagle and Brehon hotel complex, while the management and tourism contests took place 30 kilometres away in Tralee, in the brand-new Institute of Technology. The organisers had really pulled the stops out, particularly for the kitchen and food service competitions, by installing in the INEC ballroom twelve fully equipped kitchens and numerous restaurant tables. And for good measure a video camera crew filmed the competitions which were then displayed on large screens to enable more people to see the contests in comfort.

The crowning glory was an idea which could usefully be further developed: the organisers had invited more than 300 young people from Killarney to watch the competitions with a view to stimulating their desire – and why not – to take up a profession which they had been able to observe ‘live’.


It was good to see that the beer-pulling workshop – Guinness of course – was a great success. Not surprising in Ireland, where people swear only by Guinness – well, almost only! And if there was ever a right time and place to instigate a beer-pulling contest, this was it.

Moreover the public had been invited to observe the contests from the balcony which overlooked the INEC hall. They had been invited along through posters displayed in town encouraging not only professionals but also the public to come along to share in this event. This was a first both for the AEHT and for Ireland.



management competition in Tralee


food service

food service


But in the other competitions too, nothing had been left to chance. As for example the use of real actors given the task of playing the role of clients to provide a realistic setting for the reception competition. The members of the various judging panels, teachers or school directors, were rarely idle during this Conference and carried out admirably their delicate tasks.

The nine competitions were as follows:

Restaurant/Service – Culinary Arts – Hospitality – Reception – Tourism – Management – Pastry - Bar – Kitchen/Service (please see lists of medallists)
12th - 17th November 2018 in Leeuwarden
13th to 18th November 2017 - in Oostend
23rd to 28th October 2016 in London
5th to 10th October 2015 in Cervia

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