‘Nationwide’ To Feature Apprentice Chef Programme As Tralee Students Look Forward To Final

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Winner of The Apprentice Chef 2017 Padriac Randles from Pobalscoil Inbhear Scéine, Kenmare, with Mark Murphy last year. Photo: Domnick Walsh

THE Apprentice Chef Programme will be featured on RTE’s Nationwide show next Friday ahead of the 2017/2018 final cook off at IT Tralee.

On Thursday, May 10, 27 students from secondary schools across Munster and Leinster, including three students from Tralee and three more from other Kerry schools, will don their chef whites and spend the morning in the college’s professional kitchens to create their individually designed dishes.

Isabelle Lynch and Harry Emerson from Mercy Mounthawk and Gail Adado from Transform Youth Reach, Tralee, will join Karen O’Donoghue and Natalia Leane of Killarney  Community College and Eimear O’Donoghue of Mean Scoil Nua, Castlegregory in the final.

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Since October 2017 over 800 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, encourage young people to consider a culinary career to help combat the current chef crisis in Ireland and contribute to the development of self confidence and self esteem.

The finalists have been mentored by accomplished chefs Mark Doe (Just Cooking Cookery School, Firies), Louise Brosnan (Solas Tapas & Wine Bar, Dingle), Mark Staples (Hayfield Manor Hotel, Cork) and Bart O Sullivan (Sea Lodge Hotel, Waterville), and supported by nutritional therapist, Susie Cox.  Each dish created by the students must have a “Good Mood Food” influence.

This is the sixth year of the Apprentice Chef Programme which was established by Mark Doe of Just Cooking Cookery School in Firies, Co Kerry and Mark Murphy, lecturer in Culinary Arts at IT Tralee.  The duo received the Munster Local Food Hero accolade at this year’s Irish Restaurant Awards.

Co-founder Mark Doe said, “Almost 4000 secondary school students have attended workshops and cookery demonstrations since we started the Apprentice Chef in 2012 with students from Kerry and Limerick.  In the second year schools from Co Cork participated and last year we were delighted to collaborate with Waterford IT and students from Tipperary, Wexford and Waterford signed up.  The geographic reach has extended this year and for the first time we welcomed students from Laois, Wicklow and Dublin.”

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 enjoy a styling session at Easyfood Magazine HQ this summer and receive the unique perpetual trophy.

For more information on the Apprentice Chef visit www.theapprenticechef.ieand www.facebook.com/theapprenticechef

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