Coleg Llandrillo, Coleg Menai, Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor and Busnes@LlandrilloMenai logosColeg Llandrillo, Coleg Menai, Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor and Busnes@LlandrilloMenai logos

Top chefs Dylan and Dion return to inspire students

The former Coleg Menai students gave a talk on being green with their cuisine

Chefs Dylan Owens and Dion Wyn Jones visited Coleg Menai to talk about sustainability and the latest trends in cuisine.

Dylan and Dion have both gone on to hugely successful careers after studying Level 3 Professional Food Preparation and Cookery at the college.

Dylan is head chef of hospitality at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, while Dion is executive head chef at Rookery Hall Hotel in Cheshire.

The two have also won numerous competitions between them, and are still close friends having been in the same year at Coleg Menai 17 years ago.

They returned to the Bangor campus to talk to staff and learners about their career paths, their experiences in the industry and their commitment to running sustainable businesses.

They spoke about using local produce and suppliers, including the example of a duck farmer who was struggling with the financial pressures of the pandemic before Dylan entered into a contract with him, transforming the farmer’s fortunes.

The pair also talked about minimising waste by using as much of their stock as possible across their menus, making savings both economically and ecologically.

Dylan said: “Being sustainable doesn’t just mean using local produce and giving back to the community, it also means giving back to the planet. That’s our mission, to be aware of that, and to educate the students on how important sustainability and carbon footprint really is.”

Dion was happy to give back to the college where he learned his trade, saying: “This is where we started - my three years at Coleg Menai was amazing.

“We had great teachers who taught us right, and pushed us to do work experience. What we got from here was special.”

He and Dion also spoke to the students about the importance of learning the basics at college before going out into the industry.

Among those in the audience was Glenydd Hughes, catering lecturer at Coleg Llandrillo, who said: “It’s great to see how well Dylan and Dion have done after studying at Coleg Menai.

“They emphasised the importance of learning at college to get the basics right, and it was also good to hear them talking about their sustainability ethos and the steps they take to try and eliminate waste.

“That mirrors what we’re teaching at the college, so we’re preparing learners for the standards that are expected in industry.”

Catherine Skipp, Programme Area Manager for Service Industries and Business, said: “Dylan and Dion have achieved fantastic things in their careers since studying with us at Coleg Menai, and it’s great to see how well they’re both doing.

“We’re very grateful to them for giving up their time to share their knowledge and experiences with our learners and staff.”

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