IT Tralee Team Co-Champions Of Culinary Pentathlon Event

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The IT Tralee Culinary team.

A TEAM of students from IT Tralee were announced as Dingle Invitational Culinary Pentathlon 2019 co-champions earlier this month.

The IT Tralee Culinary Arts Team were Karl Noctor (Tralee), Aidan King (Tralee), Kerrie Daley (Ballyheigue) and Shannon Curtin (Limerick) under the guidance and mentorship of Chef Lecturer Dan Browne.

After a two-year absence, and in spite of the threats and real difficulties afforded by storm Lorenzo, The Dingle Invitational Culinary Pentathlon on Friday, October 4 was an overwhelming success for all teams involved.

Continued below…


Four teams – Cork IT, Dublin Technical University IT Tralee and Galway/Mayo IT – competed in the competition designed to bring student culinary athletes from around the country to compete in a one of a kind competition of cooking and sport, this uniquely Dingle event took place throughout the town.

Coupling new and traditional culinary ingredients of west Kerry with the area’s acclaim as a center of outdoor activity, teams of cyclists, runners, prep cooks, chefs and wait staff created innovative four-course lunches from a “blind basket” of local ingredients and pantry staples.

Beginning in Orchard Lane, Shannon Curtin cycled the first leg of the competition, carrying a mystery bag of local produce to prep Chef Kerrie Daley at Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne.

Shannon then returned to Orchard Lane where she became pastry chef and created a dessert from ingredients and recipe from the book Dingle Dinners. Shannon produced a lemon curd with shortbread biscuits and raspberry coulis.

Meanwhile back at Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne Kerrie began working on the Amuse Bouche.

The mystery bag was the same for everyone and they were asked to produce a carrot soup with only the ingredients they were supplied with. At the same time Karl Noctor was given the main mystery basket from which he had 15 minutes to write a menu consisting of a starter and a main course that would fit in with the two courses already prescribed to the teams in the Amuse Bouche and Dessert.

Karl produced a smoked Quail breast, confit leg of quail, and carrot puree for starter. The main course he designed and prepared consisted of Herb crusted loin of lamb, wild mushroom risotto and parsnip puree.

While prepared ingredients were ferried from Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne back to the Marquee in Orchard Lane for finishing, team runners (Kerrie) had to carry whatever waste the prep chefs had created and any unused ingredients from the mystery basket, from the school up through Main Street and back to Orchard Lane.

Once all the prep chefs and ingredients returned to Orchard Lane the finishing chefs began their stint. Aidan King had just 20 minutes to cook and serve each course. Although Aidan only saw the menu for the first time as it arrived he was allowed the guidance of Karl who wrote the menu and who now became the server to the judges.

While the distinguished panel of international judges were tough in their scoring and the standards were so high from all four teams on the day, the judges decided to name co-champions in ITTralee and GMIT.

Speaking after the awards Chef Lecturer Dan Browne of I.T. Tralee said, “I was really impressed with our team and the level of professionalism shown. At the end of the day it was all about teamwork and our guys showed they could do it under pressure and in a challenging environment including mystery baskets. Kitchens are always throwing up surprises and challenges, and successfully dealing with these, through teamwork and professionalism sometimes determines how successful we are as chefs”.

An individual prize was also awarded to IT Tralee student Aidan King, who took the prize for the ‘Finishing and Plating category’.

The prize included signed copies of celebrity chef cookery books as well as an amazing prize of a custom-made knife by The Dingle Bladsmith.The team prizes were bespoke crystal awards made by Sean Daly of Dingle Crystal.

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