10 Aug 2022

Waterford student picks up award at 'chef of the year' awards

Waterford student picks up award at 'chef of the year' awards

Waterford student picks up award at 'chef of the year' awards

Daniel Hartigan, representing Waterford Institute of Technology, has been awarded second place at this year’s KNORR Student Chef of the Year 2019, after an exciting two-hour cook-off at the Waterford IT campus.

Daniel went up against seven other young student chefs from across the island of Ireland to cook up a storm and create two plates. The theme of this year’s competition, ‘Street on a Plate: a street food feast inspired by the food trucks, street stalls and farmers markets of Ireland,’ celebrates the evolving palette of the Irish population and its influence on the Irish food market. Students are marked for their creativity and interpretation of the theme as well as the presentation of each dish, food waste management and allergen awareness.

Daniel plated two dishes for the judge tasting. His first plate was a ‘Jalapeno Poppers, Cashel Blue, Black Pudding, Pineapple Salsa, Pepper Puree’ dish and the second plate consisted of ‘Pork Carne Asada Taco, Burnt Apple, Red Onion Pickle, Avocado Foam.’

The inspiration for each dish came from his love for Mexican foods, particularly influenced by recent trips to Los Angeles and New York in the U.S. Daniel took well-known Mexican dishes like the jalapeño popper and the taco and used fresh, Irish produce to craft his own adaption of these plates.

Commenting on the experience Daniel said, “Participating in this year’s KNORR Student Chef of the Year competition has been a great opportunity to put the skills I’ve developed while studying at Waterford IT to good use. I’ve really enjoyed the whole process and I’m delighted to be taking home the silver prize.”

Lee McDonagh, Technological University Dublin – Tallaght Campus, took the overall prize while Bangaly Doumbouya from Limerick Institute of Technology was in third place

Impelled by the theme Lee impressed the judges with two tantalising dishes of ‘Lobster maki, sushi, avocado, yuzu and caviar,’ and a contemporary presentation of the classic ‘Fish and Chips with a warm tartar emulsion.’

Speaking about the competition, Audrey Crone, Executive Chef Ireland at Unilever Food Solutions said, “This year marks my first KNORR Student Chef of the Year competition. The talent demonstrated by each student chef is a real testament to the training centres and institutes of Ireland and made quite an impression on the judging panel. Each competitor displayed great chefmanship and creativity in the preparation and cooking of each of their plates."

“The hospitality and food industry in Ireland is undergoing a time of upheaval with chef shortages. Today’s competition assured me that with the forthcoming training chefs, the industry is in good hands. It’s also an exciting time for graduating chefs to forage their professional careers,” she added.

This year’s competition was judged by a panel comprising Unilever’s Audrey Crone and special guest judge Bobby Kerr, entrepreneur, businessman and broadcaster and Lorain Walsh, Chef Lecturer, Waterford Institute of Technology.

As well as the KNORR Student Chef of the Year title, the winner has a unique London food tour, sampling what the UK capital city has to offer in terms of produce, street food and Michelin experiences.

Other KNORR Student Chef of the Year 2019 finalists include:

·         Kieran Cleverley, Southern Regional College

·         Nadia Rainey, South Eastern Regional College

·         Kevin Buchanan, Letterkenny Institute of Technology

·         Gerard Fallon, Athlone Institute of Technology

·         Keith Craig, North West Regional College

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