The first annual Junior Chef Challenge saw a total of eight secondary schools and 16 students battle it out for the overall prize of €1,000 and the Junior Chef Challenge Trophy which was won by two students from St Marys College.
The challenge was organised in association with local business Tony Kieran Ltd and took place in the hospitality wing of the DkIT on Wednesday December 7. The competition was judged by celebrity chef and author Jenny Bristow who was given a tough task of selecting a winner.
“I enjoyed sampling all the various dishes and with standards so high the ultimate winners were St. Mary’s College with Ultan Larney and Glenn McCourt, who cooked up a most innovative dish of Spicy Purkey Parcels and dessert of Pear & Cranberry Crumble served with Creme Fraiche.”
All the students and teachers involved commented on what a great experience they had in participating in the cook-off.
The winners were presented with their trophy and the winning school was presented with a cheque for €1,000.
The brief was “Healthy eating for your family and friends”, and the junior chefs had to cook 2 dishes with a total budget of €20 or less.
Seamus Spaight, of Tony Kierans Ltd said: “Our aim in setting out this competition was to encourage children to eat healthy while at the same time supporting schools in our local community.
“The quality of what served up was absolutely fantastic. When you take into consideration the age of the students competing they have achieved so much. We were very impressed with their knowledge of the foods they were cooking.”
The students had only 90 minutes to prepare their 2 courses and worked in teams of two. All the local secondary schools were represented and some students were as young as 12. Chef Jenny Bristow had her work cut, but she spent ample time with each team getting to know the students and discussing their menu choices as well as observing their cooking techniques.