Cooking their way to sweet success
THERE was Kerry culinary success on home ground lask week, as Natalia Leane cooked her way to the title of Supreme Apprentice Chef – but the 17-year-old Killarney Community College student wasn’t alone in raising the green and gold flag at an event that took place at the IT Tralee’s facilities.
Thanks to her pan-seared Skeaghanore duck, accompanied by a delightfully sweet orange glaze, Natalia, on the eve of her birthday, bested competition from all over Munster and Leinster.
In doing so, she secured the Apprentice Chef Programme top prize packet including a trophy, €1000 in equipment for her school, professional McDonnell’s knives, a year’s subscription to Easyfood Magazine, and a food-styling session with the magazine’s experts.
Isabelle Lynch of Mercy Mounthawk, Tralee, also flourished under the theme of good mood food, as her dark chocolate mousse with raspberry sorbet, honeycomb shards, shortbread crumb, and profiteroles were deemed delicious enough to secure second place. The competition has always had a strong Kerry flavour; now in its sixth year, it was established by IT Tralee Culinary Arts lecturer Mark Murphy, and Mark Doe of Just Cooking Cookery School. The programme was recently awarded the All Ireland Local Food Hero title at the Irish Restaurant Awards
Louise Brosnan and Bart O’Sullivan, based in Dingle and Waterville respectively, were among this year’s mentors, and last year Padraic Randles of Pobalscoil Inbhear Scéine, Kenmare, won the competition. Students from four Kerry schools competed last week.
“Since the programme’s inception in 2012, we have delivered a series of demonstrations and workshops to over 4,000 students,” Mr Doe said. “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.”
Isabelle Lynch (Mercy Mounthawk) with her award-winning dark chocolate mousse with raspberry sorbet, honeycomb shards, shortbread crumb and filled profiteroles.
Killarney Community College’s Natalia Leane shows off her award winning dish of pan seared Skeaghanore duck with a sweet orange glaze