Schools from Cavan, Monaghan and The Boyne Valley Flavour’s Region (Meath and Louth) came together last Wednesday the 15th of March to take place in the Created In Cavan Regional Final of the Schools Young Cook of the Year in Cavan Institute. Six teams of two students represented Inver College from Carrickmacross (Sarah Callinan and Emma Hernandez), Beech Hill College, Monaghan (Ella Coyle and Deirbhile Kenny), Coláiste Dún an Rí Kingscourt (Fayth Daly and Rebekah Ritchie), St Clare’s College, Ballyjamesduff (Bláthnaid Farrelly and Tara McCabe), Eureka Secondary School, Kells (Evelyn Oates and Dayna McGoohan) and Our Lady’s College, Greenhills, Drogheda (Ellen Farrell and Tofumni Olanlokun).
This is the inaugural year of the Regional competition which was run in association with Created in Cavan, Cavan County Council, Cavan Institute and Cavan and Monaghan Education Training Board. Students were tasked with using as much local produce from their region in their dishes. Judges also presented the teams with a mystery box before they started cooking that morning. The mystery box contained local produce that they were asked to create a side dish with to accompany their mains.
The six teams had from 10.30am until 12.30pm to prepare, cook and present a two course dish to impress the judges. Judges on the day included Norbert Neylon of the Oak Room Restaurant, Award-Winning Chef, Broadcaster and Columnist Gary O’Hanlon and Carmel Biggane, Food Academy Manager for SuperValu Ireland.
Marianne McDonald, Food Strategy Co-ordinator with Cavan County Council was delighted to see lots of different produce from the region being used by the students. “We were glad to see a positive reaction from all the schools involved. It’s great to have their teachers here today and to have the focus on local produce from the Created In Cavan Network, Monaghan Food Network and The Boyne Valley Flavours Region.”
Once the dishes were presented by the students and the judges had time to deliberate, Karen Fitzpatrick, Deputy Director of Cavan Institute welcomed everyone to the College and congratulated all the finalists. Karen spoke to the students about the successful Culinary Arts programme running in Cavan Institute. Karen thanked Marianne McDonald, Food Strategy Co-ordinator, Cavan County Council, Pauric White Instructor of the Commis Chef Programme, Cavan Institute and Michelle Marron, Commis Chef Programme Manager, Cavan Institute for their work in organising the competition.
Cllr Carmel Brady, Chair of Cavan, Monaghan Education Training Board also welcomed the students and the Judges. “The students here today have inspired us all with their amazing culinary skills. The aim of today was to engage with local schools and to educate the participants on the importance of our local food economy.”
Each Judge thanked the students before awarding 3rd, 2nd and 1st place. Norbert Neylon presented the award for 3rd place to Bláthnaid Farrelly and Tara McCabe of St Clare’s College Ballyjamesduff. Gary O’Hanlon presented second place to Fayth Daly and Rebekah Ritchie of Coláiste Dún an Rí Kingscourt and Carmel Biggane presented first place to Sarah Callinan and Emma Hernandez of Inver College in Carrickmacross.
All students received a certificate of participation and a goodie bag. Students were made aware of the Apprenticeship in Culinary Arts that is now running in Cavan Institute. The Commis Chef Apprenticeship is a formal structured two-year education and training programme, incorporating periods of off the job training and skills development in college and work-based knowledge and skills development on the job skills in an approved industry kitchen. A great way for students to work and still get their qualification with Cavan Institute.
For more information on how you can get involved with Created in Cavan as a food business, producer or food retailer contact Marianne on firstname.lastname@example.org