Tralee Student Among Prizes At Apprentice Chef Final

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Overall winner Natalia Leane, from Killarney Community College withJack Granville, McEgan College, Macroom (third) and Isabelle Lynch from Mercy Mounthawk, Tralee, (second) in the sixth Apprentice Chef Programme final sponsored by Flogas Ireland and Fáilte Ireland at the Institute of Technology Tralee on Thursday 10 May 2018. Picture: Sean Curtin True Media.

SECONDARY school students from across Munster and Leinster travelled to the IT Tralee’s state of the art kitchens in the 2017/2018 Flogas Ireland and Fáilte Ireland supported Apprentice Chef Finale on Thursday.

A dish of pan seared Skeaghanore duck with a sweet orange glaze that earned Natalia Leane from Killarney Community College, the 2017/2018 Supreme Apprentice Chef title, while a Mercy Mounthawk student took second place thanks to a dark chocolate mousse with raspberry sorbet, honeycomb shards, shortbread crumb and filled profiteroles by 16 year old Isabelle Lynch.

Jack Granville from McEgan College, Macroom, Co Cork came third with a roast rack of Shandangan lamb, red wine jus, tian of courgettes, lamb shoulder croquettes with hasselback potatoes.

Isabelle Lynch from Mercy Mounthawk, Tralee, with her award winning dark chocolate mousse with raspberry sorbet, honeycomb shards, shortbread crumb and filled profiteroles. Picture: Sean Curtin True Media.


As the winner, transition year student Natalia, who celebrates her 17th birthday tomorrow Friday 11 May, walked away with a prize package that included a set of professional knives from McDonnells, €1000 equipment for her school, a year’s subscription to Easyfood Magazine and a professional food styling session at Easyfood Magazine HQ this summer.

In addition, the specially commissioned Supreme Apprentice Chef perpetual trophy was presented to the Supreme Apprentice Chef.

This is the sixth year of the Apprentice Chef Programme which recently featured on RTE”s Nationwide.

It was established by Mark Doe of Just Cooking Cookery School and Mark Murphy, lecturer in Culinary Arts at IT Tralee.

The duo received the 2018 Munster Local Food Hero accolade at the Irish Restaurant Awards.  Co-founder Mark Doe said, “Since the programme’s inception in 2012, we have delivered a series of demonstrations and workshops to over 4000 students.  We are committed to encouraging young people to enter the industry to help alleviate the chef shortage in Ireland whilst simultaneously promoting the importance of healthy eating to enhance physical and mental wellbeing.  Year on year our geographic reach has increased and to date schools in Munster and Leinster have taken part.  We will continue to build on the programme’s success to take it to national level so that students from all corners of Ireland can experience the positive side of working in food and hospitality.”

Earlier this year each finalist was assigned an experienced chef to provide mentoring to help them design and create a unique signature dish using locally sourced ingredients.

For more information on the Apprentice Chef visit and

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