CIT Tourism & Hospitality Department To Host Knorr Student Chef Of The Year Contest

Kyle Lynch from Glencree, Mayfield in Cork city will represent his county and CIT when he battles it out with the best student chefs from culinary colleges across the island of Ireland.

It is a particularly special year for the competition, as it has reached its 20th year in finding Ireland’s top student chef talent. The competition is well underway and is preparing to welcome culinary colleges from across the island of Ireland to Cork Institute of Technology on Tuesday, 14th March 2017 for the exciting final cook-off.

KNORR Student Chef of the Year is the biggest competition of its kind in Ireland and allows up-and-coming student chefs to showcase their talent, love of food, creativity and innovation in front of some of Ireland’s leading food professionals.

The theme of this year’s competition is ‘Provenance: The story behind the menu’ and is focused on celebrating Irish produce. This year’s competition will be judged by a panel comprising Unilever Food Solutions’ Business Development Chef, Mark McCarthy, he will be joined by special guest judge and winner of the National Chef of the Year by the UK’s Craft Guild of Chefs, James Devine. Also joining the panel are Fergal O’Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of the Coeliac Society of Ireland and Ann O’ Connor, Chef Lecturer, Cork Institute of Technology.

This years students are being challenged to create a starter using Irish seafood and a main course celebrating Irish beef. Students must demonstrate an understanding of the importance of locally sourced and produced ingredients in the creation of their menu and it must be gluten-free and suitable for a person with coeliac disease.

Speaking about this year’s competition, Mark McCarthy, Business Development Chef, Unilever Food Solutions, said: “KNORR Student Chef is a brilliant opportunity for talented young chefs to showcase their culinary skills and demonstrate their innate creativity in front of leading food professionals. The last two decades of this competition are testament to the talent we witness coming out of culinary colleges from across the country.

"While Irish palates have expanded since the founding of the competition, they are also becoming more particular and acute to dietary requirements, making this year’s challenge particularly pertinent. I’m excited about seeing the diversity and skills on show by our next generation of master chefs”, he added.

Guest judge, James Devine added: “I’m really looking forward to this year’s competition and I’m expecting the standard of entries to be the highest it’s ever been, especially for the special anniversary. 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. For me, the winning chef will be as passionate about local produce as I am so I will be interested in hearing about the sustainable credentials of their dish. I’m looking forward to seeing how they marry their interpretation of the theme with a great tasting dish.”

Besides the much-coveted KNORR Student Chef of the Year title, the winner will receive a fantastic culinary experience in New York. On the first night, the winner will dine in the chic surroundings of the multi award winning and three starred Michelin restaurant, Eleven Madison Park. They will also get an opportunity to take a unique food tour of The Big Apple , the ultimate way to experience the best of food and culture from a local’s perspective.

The 2017 KNORR Student Chef of the Year competition is open to second year students from participating catering colleges, training centres and Institutes of Technology. The winning entrant from each participating college will travel to Cork Institute of Technology for the KNORR Student Chef of the Year final on Tuesday, 14th March 2017.

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