Kerry ETB Students Shine At National Commis Chef Apprenticeship Showcase

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Kerry ETB apprentices who dazzled judges and spectators alike with their exceptional skills and creativity. From left; Owen McDonnell, Maria Elenna Traynor, Adam Nagy, Melissa Cahillane and Helen Devane.

KERRY Education and Training Board (Kerry ETB) recently hosted a culinary extravaganza at the Great Southern Hotel in Killarney.

The National Commis Chef Apprenticeship Showcase brought together 52 competitors from across the country. Featuring six display competitions and five live cooking competitions, the event served as a vibrant celebration of culinary talent and vocational training in Ireland.

The highlight of the showcase was the presentation of 21 awards, recognising excellence in various categories.

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Notably, the beautifully handcrafted Chefs Kiss Trophies, made by the Stone Mason and Stone Cutting Apprentices from Kerry College, adorned the ceremony. Additionally, silver, and bronze medals were bestowed upon outstanding competitors adding to the prestige of the event.

In a display of remarkable talent and culinary finesse, apprentices from Kerry ETB clinched five top honours in various categories. The event saw Kerry ETB apprentices dazzle judges and spectators alike with their exceptional skills and creativity.

Leading the charge was Melissa Cahillane, whose culinary mastery secured her the coveted title in the Iles Flottante Live Competition.

Eoin McDonnell demonstrated unparalleled expertise in the Meat Terrine Display category, highlighting not only technical proficiency but also an artistic flair that left judges impressed.

Helen Devane captured the hearts and taste buds of onlookers with her stellar performance in the Canapes Display category.

In the Petit Fours category, Adam David Nagy proved himself a force to be reckoned with, wowing judges with his intricate desserts and impeccable execution.

Maria Elena Traynor rounded out Kerry ETB’s impressive showing with her triumph in the Beef Fillet Competition.

Reflecting on the event’s significance, Con O‚ÄôSullivan, Kerry College Monavalley Campus Manager, extended his congratulations to all competitors and winners. He commended their outstanding talent and dedication, while also expressing gratitude to the judges and organizer Malloy Higgins for their tireless efforts in making the event a resounding success.

Among the competitors who stood out were 17-year-old Thomas Shannon from Limerick and Clare ETB and mature student Grace Nagle from Tipperary ETB. Thomas impressed the judges with his skills in the Black Sole Live Competition, highlighting a level of proficiency beyond his years.

Grace Nagle’s success in clinching the silver medal in the Iles Flottante Live Cooking Competition further emphasized the accessibility of apprenticeships.

Speaking about the prestigious event Kerry ETB CEO Colm McEvoy said, “Apprenticeships play a vital role in shaping the future of the hospitality industry, providing aspiring chefs with the training and skills necessary to thrive in today’s dynamic culinary landscape. We are immensely proud of to be the lead providers of this impactful apprenticeship programme and grateful for the unwavering support and collaboration of the Irish Hotel Federation (IHF). Together, we are not only fostering talent but also strengthening the foundation of Ireland’s vibrant hospitality sector.”

The National Commis Chef Apprenticeship Showcase not only celebrated culinary talent but also served as a platform for industry professionals and enthusiasts to witness the diversity and potential of apprenticeship programs. With its blend of creativity, skill, and passion, the event underscored the vital role of vocational training in nurturing the next generation of culinary excellence.

To find out more about the National Commis Chef Apprenticeship visit

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