Exciting times for Lough Erne Resort as Stephen Holland takes up Culinary Reins from Noel McMeel

The new head of Lough Erne Resort’s award-winning culinary team has promised to continue and develop the legacy of highly respected Culinary Director, Noel McMeel who has formally announced his intention to step down after 15 years at the luxury Resort.

Executive Head Chef, Stephen Holland who has been an integral part of the exceptional culinary team at Lough Erne Resort for more than 12 years, says 2023 will herald an exciting new era as he formally takes up the reins. “We are so fortunate to have built an incredibly talented team of chefs at Lough Erne Resort over the last 12 years or so, under Noel’s leadership. We plan to harness that talent and continue our successful philosophy of sourcing, preparing, and serving fresh food in season as we embark into 2023.

Stephen Holland started his impressive culinary journey as ambitious 13-year-old who secured his first paid job as a porter in a local hotel in Dungannon. As he explains it was there, that he got taste for life as a chef. “I have very fond memories of my time there and the learning was second to none. In fact, I still use and practice many of the skills I learnt there today. Whilst studying at college I also worked at the luxurious Castle Leslie Estate under the leadership of Noel McMeel which is where I first met someone who has become a massive figure within the Irish food scene.”

Following his studies Stephen spent some time in an events’ company before setting off to travel the world where he cooked in some of the best establishments in USA, Australia, Dubai, and New Zealand. “These were crucial years for me as I was able to experience diverse cultures and benefit from learning under some of the most creative and talented chefs in the world. As I look back, this period really shaped my life and prepared me for my current role as Executive Head Chef in one of Ireland’s top food destinations. To this day I find my travels provide great inspiration for my dishes.”

During his 12-plus years at Lough Erne Resort Stephen has cooked for world leaders including US President, Barak Obama and British Prime Minister, David Cameron – but he counts meeting his wife, Rachael – a colleague at the Resort – as amongst his greatest achievements. Meanwhile, Noel McMeel, who advised senior executives at the Resort some time ago that he wished to explore other professional opportunities and begin a new chapter in his life, says he has no doubt the Resort’s treasured culinary offering is in safe hands.