Last year's winner, Andrew Reddan from DkIT.
Dundalk Institute of Technology will host the KNORR Student Chef of the Year competition next month - with preparations well underway for the cook-off which will pit some of Ireland's best young chefs against each other.
2018 marks the 21st edition of the annual competition, the biggest of it's kind in the country. It allows up-and-coming student chefs to showcase their talent, love of food, creativity and innovation in front of some of Ireland’s leading food professionals.
Among the judges this year is Michael McNamera, DkIT's Chef Lecturer. He joins Unilever Food Solutions’ Business Development Chef Mark McCarthy, special guest judge Aidan McGrath of the Wild Honey Inn, Ireland’s first Michelin starred pub and Katy McGuinness, restaurant critic with the Irish Independent.
This year, DkIT get to host the prestigious awards after Andrew Reddan, representing the college, was crowned the Knorr Student Chef of the Year last year after a cook off hosted by Cork Institute of Technology.
Andrew produced a starter of Irish sea bass with Carlingford mussel ragout with lemon and curd and mint risotto before he served a 'Tasting of beef', which comprised seared sirloin, cheek croquette, bonemarrow crumb with caramelised celeriac puree.
The competition is open to second year students from participating catering colleges, training centres and Institutes of Technology with the winning entrant from each participating college travelling to Dundalk IT for the final on Tuesday, April 17th 2018.
This years students are being challenged to create a vegetarian starter and a main course celebrating Irish seafood. Students must demonstrate an understanding of the importance of locally sourced and produced ingredients in the creation of their menu.
Besides the much-coveted KNORR Student Chef of the Year title, the winner will receive a fantastic Wild Atlantic Way culinary experience. The first two nights will be spent in Galway, dining at the Michelin starred Loam and Anair restaurants with a final night at the Wild Honey Inn, located in the heart of The Burren in Co.Clare.