Mercy Mounthawk Student In Apprentice Chef Final At IT Tralee

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A STUDENT from Mercy Mounthawk will compete for the Apprentice Chef final next week./

On Thursday, May 11, Niamh McMahon will join students from secondary schools across Munster who will have their knives out to complete the final service in the 2016/2017 Flogas Ireland and Failte Ireland sponsored Apprentice Chef Programme.

Since October 2016 over 500 students have enjoyed a series of demonstrations and workshops as part of the programme which aims to promote the importance of healthy eating to enhance physical and mental wellbeing and encourage young people to consider a culinary career to help combat the current chef crisis in Ireland.

The finalists will enjoy an authentic professional kitchen experience and serve restaurant standard dishes to a panel of judges. Seven of the students in this year’s final attend secondary schools in Killarney, Tralee, Kenmare and Cahersiveen.

Having been mentored by accomplished Kerry chefs Mark Doe and Louise Brosnan, who recently completed a stage in Belfast with Danni Barry, Ireland’s only female Michelin Star chef, and supported by nutritional therapist, Susie Cox, each dish presented by the students will have a “Good Mood Food” influence.

This is the fifth year of the Apprentice Chef Programme which was established by Mark Doe of Just Cooking Cookery School in Firies and Mark Murphy, senior lecturer in Culinary Arts at IT Tralee in 2012.

Co-founder Mark Doe said, “Since we started the Apprentice Chef, 2,000 secondary school students have attended workshops and cookery demonstrations.  In our inaugural year we had a modest cohort of students from Kerry and Limerick.  In year 2 students from Co Cork participated and for the first time this year, we were delighted to collaborate with Waterford IT and students from Tipperary, Wexford and Waterford have joined the programme.  We are continuously impressed by the standard of dishes produced and this inspires us to build on the programme’s success and we will continue in our efforts to take it to national level.  We are indebted to our sponsors, Flogas Ireland and Failte Ireland, for their support to date and we look forward to future collaboration.”

All finalists receive a specially commissioned Ambri chopping board, a Just Cooking cookbook and their Apprentice Chef monogrammed chef uniform.  The Supreme Apprentice Chef will also receive a set of professional knives, €1000 equipment for their school, a year’s subscription to Easyfood Magazine and a styling session at Easyfood Magazine HQ this summer.  In addition, the specially commissioned perpetual trophy will be presented to the Supreme Apprentice Chef.

For more information on the Apprentice Chef visit

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