The inaugural running of the Dingle Invitational Culinary Pentathlon on Friday, 3rd October was an overwhelming success for all teams involved.
Four teams from both ITTralee and Galway/Mayo IT competed in the competition designed to bring student culinary athletes from around the country to compete in a one of a kind competition of cooking and sport, this uniquely Dingle event took place throughout the town.
Coupling new and traditional culinary ingredients of West Kerry with the area’s newfound acclaim as a center of outdoor activity; Teams of cyclists, runners who were all chefs created an innovative two-course meal from a “blind basket” of local ingredients.
Beginning from the Dingle Distillery, cyclists carried local produce along Dingle’s historic waterfront on their way to hand off to chefs at the public school for two hours of intense preparation. While prepared ingredients were ferried to the newly opened Dingle Cookery School, team runners carried whatever waste the prep chefs had created to up the Main Street of town and out to the where the finishing chefs awaited ingredients and menus.
Trevis L Gleason, director of the event was extremely pleased with the event as were coaches and students alike.
“We’ve brought some of the most talented young culinarians from around Ireland to Dingle and to our Dingle Peninsula Food Festival.” Said Gleason. We’ve introduced them to our produce, to our local chefs and to the unique food culture of West Kerry. We hope they’ll think of Dingle when they graduate and are looking to work in the field.”
While the distinguished panel of international judges were tough in their scoring, only 5-points separated the four teams in the end.
Once the final chefs plated the two-course meal and the points were tallied, “Team Beef” from ITTralee came out tops for the day. On the day you also had Team Duck from ITTralee and also Team Lamb and Team Fish from GMIT.
Judge Daniel Richardson of the famed Hartwell House in Buckinghamshire, England, commented, “I would think this is an amazing way to teach the students the skills of a chef, how to plan for the unexpected.” When asked how the competition could help students.
TJ O’Connor – section head of the Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism Department at ITTralee said about the event, “it is obvious that we can utilise and drawn upon the event as a great learning experience.”
Team Beef was treated to a 6-course tasting menu by multi-award winning Chef Martin Bealin at The Global Village as well as a stunning crystal trophy from Dingle Crystal’s Sean Daly.
Team Beef competitors were Owen Murtagh (Castlegregory), Linda O Connor (Castleisland), Mark Hartnett (Abbeyfeale), Louise Brosnan (Dingle). They are all studying various culinary programme at ITTralee.