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Tralee student in final fifteen of cook off competition for the KNORR Student Chef of the Year

Feb 17, 2016

Tralee student in final fifteen of cook off competition for the KNORR Student Chef of the Year
After an exciting cook off at Athlone Institute of Technology on Tuesday, 9th February 2016: Jody Seed representing Southern Regional College, Newry was awarded the KNORR Student Chef of the Year 2016. Not only did Jody overcome a challenging theme set out by KNORR, he also successfully fought off the challenge of fourteen other rising stars to claim the top prize, one of those being Paudie Ryan of the Institute of Technology, Tralee.

Paudie displayed his culinary skills with a crab starter 'A taste from the sea floor' followed by 'A walk on the wild side' for his venison main course.

Celebrating its 19th year in 2016, KNORR Student Chef of the Year, the most celebrated student chef competition, is open to catering colleges, institutes of technology and training centres across the island of Ireland.

The theme of this year’s competition was ‘The Future of Irish Cuisine’ and focused on celebrating Irish ingredients and cooking methods. This year’s competition was judged by a panel comprising Unilever Food Solutions’ Business Development Chef, Mark McCarthy; guest judge and San Pellegrino World Young Chef of the Year, Mark Moriarty; and Michael Gantley, Chef Lecturer, Athlone Institute of Technology.

Students were challenged to create a starter using sustainable Irish seafood and a main course celebrating Irish venison. Students were also asked to demonstrate an understanding of the challenges of culinary sustainability, food waste management and allergen awareness.

Paudie wowed the judges with with a crab starter 'A taste from the sea floor'  which included an Irish brown crabmeat salad, brown crab meat pate, crab claw croquette, spinach puree, pickled cucumber gel, rapeseed mayonnaise and a dillisk and black pepper tuile

Followed by a Main Course of Venison which was “ A walk on the wild side ” Venison loin, braised shoulder, minced meat pie, broccoli and blue cheese puree, whiskey raisins, crispy parsnip, mulled wine gel and gorse flower pickled mushrooms. Served with a venison jus.

He chose local, sustainable products as he believes the relationship between the chef and the local producer is key to the success of Irish cuisine.

Speaking at the awards presentation, Mark McCarthy said: “The KNORR Student Chef of the Year competition is an ideal platform for the country’s brightest talents to not only demonstrate their culinary flair and talent, but to also develop new skills that are certain to serve them well as they embark on what I am confident will be long, successful careers.

“The greatest challenge for everyone in the foodservice industry, and indeed those starting out, is that it constantly changes. This is why we ask our student chef finalists to not only think about the story behind their dishes, but to also tackle some of the current issues that are facing the industry, whether this is cutting down on food waste in the kitchen or meeting legislation changes. I’m happy to report that all our students created wonderful menus this year, while also meeting our challenge excellently. I feel inspired and confident that the future of our foodservice industry is in safe hands.”

Guest judge, Mark Moriarty added: “The standard of entries this year was extremely high. There is so much talent on the island and KNORR Student Chef of the Year is a wonderful way of recognising the creative thinking and innovative ideas of the next generation of top-class chefs. I was really impressed by how important local produce is to the students and how they married that with great tasting dishes."