Culinary arts students showcase new food products in mock trade show
'Best of show’ title goes to David Hurley for "Chic Pea Waffle”
Date Article Written:
Friday, May 5, 2017
A selection of unique food products created by GMIT Culinary Arts students were showcased in the College of Tourism and Arts last week, tasted and judged by representatives from leading organisations in the food industry. Products ranged from a chic pea waffle to forest-berry cured salmon, smoky aubergine ketchup, cashew butter and chia crisp and more.
The showcase is the culmination of the students’ Food Product Development module in which they create a new food product based on market trends from concept to launch. They merchandise and display their products in a simulated trade show and give a two-minute sales pitch to representatives from the industry in a Dragons Den style format. Keeping up with digital trends, this year the students included a QR code on their package label which links to their blogs about their products’ USP.
Lecturer Richard Nielsen says the event drew steady streams of staff and students all day, sampling and commenting on the products and providing much valued feedback to the students. “The student’s first step to develop a viable innovative food product was to conduct market research on the current general food trends in Ireland and the lifestyle trends of the millennial customer. Many of the students’ products combined the consumer trend towards health and well-being and the “Busy Lifestyle Consumer”, offering healthy, flavourful, convenient food solutions to fit into people’s busy and complex lives.”
“The quality of innovation and the passion the students showed in showcasing their products was overhelming. One of the show’s standout products this year was “Chic Pea Waffle” by David Hurley, a healthy take on the traditional waffle, adjusting the recipe with healthy grahman flour and spices to produce a tasty snack food.”
“Popular with show attendees was “Plant Power Pots”, a raw plant milk soaked in rolled organic oats in a pot sweetened with local honey infused with granola, chai seeds gogi berries and bee pollen. Healthy trend products continued to be the focus of attention with “Aubergine”, a smoky aubergine ketchup, “Revita-Bite” roasted lentil and chick pea snacks, “An Fudge Dubh”, a healthy brownie and “Cashewhip” a cashew butter and chia crisp.”
“Others took inspiration from traditional products and giving them a contemporary twist, for example “Forest Berry cured” salmon, a poitin and smoked sea-vegetable marinade, and a product called “Pure Flavour” which is an Asian inspired flavoured clarified butter (ghee) infused with spices, turmeric, garlic and thyme, suitable as a spread or as a cooking oil.”
Assessing the viability of the food products were Artie Clifford, Chairperson, Blas na n’Eireann, Liam Heneghan, Tribal Foods and Bia Lover Festival of Food Athenry organiser; Caroline McDonough, Galway Local Enterprise Office Food Academy, Robert Rosbotham, a graduate of GMIT who represented GMIT in the 2001 Culinary Olympics in South Korea, Noel Leahy, Sliabh Aughty Honey, Richard Nielsen, Food Product Development lecturer and Mary Reid, GMIT Pastry lecturer.
Feedback for the students on their products included comments such as “great taste, “good product idea” and “very marketable” and “very clever concept”. As one participant summed up the event, “the standard was exceptional which made it very difficult to choose only one favourite” and “I wish I could purchase the products today”.
For more information on courses in culinary arts, see: https://www.gmit.ie/culinary-arts/bachelor-arts-culinary-arts
David Hurley from Ballyvaughan, Co Clare, holder of the ‘Best of Show’ title for his product “Chic Pea Waffle”, a healthy take on the traditional waffle.