On January 18th last, Cavan Institute hosted the second annual Young Cook of the Year Competition. Following on from the success in 2022, the competition once again invited transition year students from schools all across Cavan to participate. The aim of the competition, organised by Cavan Food Network in conjunction with Cavan County Council, Cavan Institute and Cavan Monaghan Education and Training Board is to create an engaging activity that encourages educational institutions to promote Cavan food. The main focus is to educate and inform future generations about the importance of supporting our local food and drink industry.
Five schools from across the County participated this year. Loreto College Cavan, St Patricks College Cavan, Coláiste Dún an Rí in Kingscourt, St. Clare’s College Ballyjamesduff and Bailieborough Community School. Each school had their own internal competition to make it to the Young Cook of the year at Cavan Institute.
On the day, students prepared a two course meal, using as much produce from “Created in Cavan” members. Dishes included chocolate and orange brownies, pork lasagne, chicken curry, homemade coleslaw, potato wedges, home made burgers and more. Students had 2 hours to prepare, cook and present their dishes to the three judges. Judging the dishes were Norbert Neylon, Chef Proprietor of The Oakroom Restaurant, Katrina Murphy from Katrina’s Artisan Cakes, and Irene Whelan, professional cookery tutor at Cavan Institute.
Marianne McDonald, Food Strategy Co-ordinator with Cavan County Council was delighted with the enthusiasm from all the students. “Everyone was so impressed today with the effort and talent shown by all the participants. All of the teachers present were very proud of how their teams worked together. Its another great event to make people aware of the local produce available in Cavan”
Once the judges had made the hard decision on the winning team, the Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council, John Paul Feeney, complimented everyone involved in the competition. Ann Marie Lacey, Director of Cavan Institute, welcomed everyone to the Institute and congratulated Pauric White, instructor of the Commis Chef program in Cavan Institute, and Michelle Marron, Commis Chef Programme Manager, on all the work they have put into the competition.
Third place on the day went to Loreto College Cavan, St. Clare’s College Ballyjamesduff took second place, and first place was awarded to Coláiste Dún an Rí in Kingscourt. On announcing the winners, Irene Whelan praised all the students for their work. “We really struggled to choose a winner here. We were blown away with the talent, and communication between the teams was second to none!” Each participant was gifted a Created in Cavan goodie bag.
First and second place teams will now compete in the regional final of Young Cook of the year on the 15th of March against Meath and Monaghan. Best of luck to our 2 “Created in Cavan” teams! For more information on how you can get involved with Created in Cavan as a food business, producer or food retailer then contact Marianne on firstname.lastname@example.org