TWO Ballinakill students rose to the top by reaching the finals of the 2019 Schools Apprentice Chef contest.
Niamh McDonald and Jennifer Holland of Heywood Community School enjoyed a slice of fame, as they vied for the title of Supreme Apprentice Chef at the southeast final of the competition.
Each dish had to include ‘good mood foods’ based on seasonality, availability, locally produced and fresh unprocessed ingredients at the final held in Waterford IT. They also had to promote the importance of healthy eating in overall personal physical and mental wellbeing, as well as combating obesity and other health issues.
Niamh impressed the judges with her smoked fish cakes, stuffed courgette and celeriac remoulade, while Jennifer proved equally skilful with her creamy Tuscan salmon served with spinach and asparagus.
The south-east title ultimately went to Sophia O’Leary from Midleton College, Cork but all finalists were congratulated on their achievement. Niamh and Jennifer were presented with a chef’s uniform, certificate and specially monogrammed chopping board. Their school will also receive a one-day cookery workshop from the Apprentice Chef culinary team.
Now in its seventh year, the educational initiative for secondary school students was established by Mark Doe of justcooking.ie and Mark Murphy, senior lecturer in culinary arts at IT Tralee.
Mr Murphy congratulated the Heywood CS students for reaching the southeast final of the challenging competition, which has seen over 4,000 students involved in culinary mentoring workshops since it began.