Culinary students win 11 awards and lecturer wins 'Chef of Year'
Date Article Written:
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Culinary students from the GMIT College of Tourism & Arts brought home a total of 11 awards at the “Chef Ireland at CATEX”, a national competition which took place in the RDS last week. In addition, one of their culinary lecturers, Frank O’Connor, won the prestigious title of “All Ireland Senior Chef of the Year” at the same event.
Organised by The Panel of Chefs of Ireland, “Chef Ireland at CATEX” is dedicated to showcasing the excellence in culinary skills in Ireland. It features a host of exciting competitions amongst the cream of Irish culinary talent, as competitors battle it out in front of a live audience under the intense pressure that is synonymous with the profession.
The GMIT culinary students have been practising and preparing with their lecturers and mentors since Christmas, and were competing alongside chefs working in the industry as well as students from other colleges all over Ireland. The event was a tremendous success for the students, who competed in Chicken Sauté, Novelty Cake, Fish, Pasta, Lamb and Larder competitions. As a group, they brought home one Gold medal, three Silver medals, five Bronze medals, and two Certificates of Merit.
Frank O’Connor, GMIT culinary lecturer, won the title of “All Ireland Senior Chef of the Year” following a tough competition where he had 90 minutes to prepare, cook and present an intricate menu for the judges. /p>
“Frank’s menu was very innovative and technically challenging”, says Gerry Talbot, Head of Department in the College of Tourism & Arts, GMIT. “The judges also placed a huge emphasis on the composition of ingredients, the presentation of the dishes, and the flavours of the individual elements.”
In addition, another GMIT culinary lecturer, Maria Conboy, was certified as a cookery judge by the World Association of Chefs (WACs) at CATEX.
“We are very proud of the students’ achievement, as they put a huge amount of effort into preparing for their competitions”, added Gerry Talbot from GMIT. “We are also very lucky to have chefs of the calibre of Frank, Maria and their colleagues teaching our students on a day-to-day basis,” adds Mr Talbot.
Frank O'Connor, Culinary lecturer in the GMIT College of Tourism & Arts, who won ‘All Ireland Senior Chef of Year’ at Chef Ireland at CATEX in the RDS, Dublin, last week.