THREE West Cork TY students were part of the 16 finalists in the 2015 Munster Apprentice Chef Project Final at IT Tralee recently.
Jenny Buttimer (16) and Aideen Madden (16) both from Bandon Grammar School and Jessica Sheehan (16) from Kinsale Community School, flew the West Cork flag.
The winner was Stephanie Kearney from Colaiste Mhuire, Buttevant and all 16 contestants received a uniform, certificate, cookbook and specially monogrammed chopping board.
The theme of the competition was ‘Good Mood Food’ and Jenny Buttimer prepared a Moroccan lamb burger with caramelised red onions, vegetable crisps and a mint yogurt sauce. ‘I love cooking so when my teacher Mary McCarthy approached me to enter the competition,’ said Jenny, ‘I jumped at the chance.’
Aideen Madden’s dish was pancetta and herb crusted loin of lamb with colcannon, glazed carrots and a pea and mint foam. ‘I have always had a great love for cooking so thanks to my teacher Mary McCarthy for suggesting the competition to me,’ said Aideen. ‘I also want to say thanks to my mentor chef Mark Doe, and I loved cooking in a professional kitchen with my chef whites on.’
Kinsale student Jessica Sheehan prepared a pan-fried cod with gubeen chorizo and West Cork honey. ‘My teacher Orla Prendergast suggested the competition to me and I decided to enter as I have a great passion for cooking,’ she said. ‘I come from a traditional fishing town and I decided to serve the cod with creamed cabbage and chorizo as I wanted to put a twist on the Irish tradition of bacon and cabbage.’
The project, sponsored by Flogas Ireland and Failte Ireland, is now in its third year. Each finalist’s dish had to include ‘good mood foods’ based on seasonality, availability, locally produced and healthy unprocessed ingredients.