Tralee Student Wins Apprentice Chef Competition

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Ellie Sugrue with her winning dish.

A TRALEE student has won the South Western Region Final of the 2019  Apprentice Chef competition held at IT Tralee last week.

There were 21 students from secondary schools in Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Kerry taking part in the competition sponsored by Flogas Ireland and Failte Ireland last Thursday.

After all the cooking was done, the Supreme Apprentice chef award went to  Ellie Sugrue, of Mercy Mounthawk.

Ellie’s dish was titled ‘Beetroot surprise’. A stunning chocolate and beetroot fondant with lemon curd, raspberry meringues and lemon soil.

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Second place went to Áine Geoghehan form Skibbereen Community School and third place went to Grace Hendy also from Skibbereen Community School.

A delighted Ellie Sugrue was presented with a €1,000 voucher for her school’s home economics department, a monogrammed chef’s uniform, a professional set of chefs knives and work experience in a  5-star Hotel.

Ellie’s school, Mercy Mounthawk will also receive a one-day cookery workshop from the Apprentice Chef culinary team. All 21 contestants received a uniform, certificate and specially monogrammed chopping board.

The finalists will also travel to Easy Food’s test kitchen, where they will cook their chosen dish, and their winning dishes will be published in their Easy Food magazine. These students will also generously receive a year’s subscription to Easy Food Magazine.

The Munster Apprentice Chef project, sponsored by Flogas Ireland and Failte Ireland, is now in its 7th year. It was established by Mark Doe of and Mark Murphy, lecturer in Culinary Arts at IT Tralee.

Aimed at secondary school students, the theme is ‘Good Mood Food’, to promote the importance of healthy eating in overall personal physical and mental wellbeing, as well as combating obesity and other health issues. Each finalist’s dish had to include ‘good mood foods’ based on seasonality, availability, locally produced and fresh unprocessed ingredients.

Co-founder Mark Murphy said,  “To date, over 4,000 secondary school students have attended culinary mentoring workshops at IT Tralee and IT Waterford as part of the Munster Apprentice Chef project. It is part of a larger three year strategy to target 60 schools in Munster in 2020 and a next year to involve secondary schools in Connaught and finally at a national level.”

Co-founder Mark Doe added; “Another aim of the project is to promote the advantages of locally sourced food from health and economic perspectives, and how this can also benefit the local economy by keeping jobs in the region. Accordingly, a huge vote of thanks to our sponsors Flogas Ireland and Failte Ireland for their support to date and we’re looking forward to building on its success in the coming years.”

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