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JP is bringing the Thunder back to Trinity

The new chef at Trinity restaurant is shaking things up – JP McAuley likes to keep things simple and use as many local ingredients as he can in his dishes The new chef at Trinity restaurant is shaking things up – JP McAuley likes to keep things simple and use as many local ingredients as he can in his dishes
By Conor McParland

A BALLYCASTLE native, JP McAuley is now head chef at Trinity restaurant in the Thunderdome complex in the heart of Glengormley.
The popular spot has undergone a huge transformation in recent years with brand new décor and exciting menus incorporating the best food with a mixture of fine dining and simple classic dishes.
JP’s interest in food and cooking began at a young age when he landed his first job in the Marine Hotel in his home town of Ballycastle.
“I started off in the Marine Hotel in Ballycastle working in the kitchen, doing the dishes and a bit of cooking which really sparked an interest in the hospitality and catering industry,” he explained.
“I applied to go to the catering college in Portrush and successfully completed a diploma.
“I then moved to Scotland and worked in the five-star Western Turnberry resort. I learnt the art of fine dining and that kind of area in food.
“From there I moved to England and worked in a number of fine dining restaurants and hotels.
“I returned home and worked in the Fitzwilliam Hotel when it first opened as a sous-chef.
“I then moved to Made in Belfast restaurant beside Belfast City Hall. It was a turning point for me because up until then, I had been working in fine dining.
“I then returned to the Fitzwilliam Hotel for a couple of years and did some work here and there.
“I am delighted to be in Trinity restaurant now and really excited to be here,”
On his cooking style as a chef, JP says he specialises in keeping things simple.
“I like making the most of the ingredients I have. I love big flavours . I am not a big fan of slow-cooked meats.
“I love local food cooked well. My favourite thing to cook is fish and chips. I like to keep things simple and not complicate dishes too much. I also try to use as many local ingredients in my dishes when possible.”
The menus at Trinity restaurant have been transformed and now includes an Early-Bird Menu (served Monday-Saturday noon to 6pm), A La Carte Menu and Sunday Carvery. A special mention also for the Senior Citizen Lunch, available from Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm.
JP has only been in the job a few weeks but has already stamped his authority on the menus at Trinity restaurant.
“For Trinity restaurant, some of the classic dishes that sell well have been kept on the menu. I have tweaked a few things to what I thought could improve some dishes.
“There are also a few new dishes such as the half rack of BBQ ribs and the Salted Chilli Squid on the starters menu which are both really good.
“I only started a few weeks ago and I am really enjoying it. Glengormley is a lovely place and the restaurant owners are really down to earth.
“We get a lot of regular customers but I want to appeal to people who maybe stopped coming to return and see for themselves a brand new and exciting food menu.
“The hake dish is an example of a fine dining dish- full of bold flavours which I love. The Beef Brisket Burger is another standout from the menu.
“As for my personal recommendations, for starter you have to try the Salted Chilli Squid, for main course, the Salmon fillet with a teriyaki glaze set on a bed of buttered greens and crispy noodles and for dessert it would have to be the classic Sticky Toffee pudding.”

Trinity Restaurant
285 Antrim Road
BT36 7QN
Tel: 028 9034 2266

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