Attending a masterclass run by one of Northern Ireland’s finest chefs is among the prizes on offer in a new competition open to students on Belfast Metropolitan College’s professional chef programmes.
Belfast Met and Tesco Northern Ireland have teamed up to find the student chef of the year in the college.
The overall winner of the culinary contest will be named Tesco Homegrown Student Chef of the Year, enjoy a meal for four at the OX or Eipic restaurants in Belfast, collect a winner’s trophy and, along with other finalists, be treated to a masterclass with either Deanes Eipic head chef Danni Barry or OX Belfast head chef Stephen Toman. There will also be prizes for runners-up.
To enter the competition cookery students have to create a meal, featuring a starter and main course, which highlights Northern Ireland produce to the max. The ingredients must not cost more than £20.
Eight finalists will be chosen to prepare their meals from scratch at a cook-off in Belfast Met’s demonstration kitchen. The closing date for entries is April 15th, while the cook-off will be staged on May 6th.
OX’s Stephen Toman and Eipic’s Danni Barry, two of Northern Ireland’s outstanding chefs, have agreed to act as judges in the competition, choosing both the finalists and the overall winner.
When marking the entries the judges will be taking into account the amount of locally-produced ingredients in the dishes as well as creativity, workmanship, composition, seasonality, allergen awareness and sustainability.
Caoimhe Mannion, Tesco’s Marketing Manager in Northern Ireland, said: “This is a fine example of education and industry working together.
“We feel this competition is a great way for the students to unleash their culinary and creative skills and their local food knowledge to create a mouthwatering two-course menu. It’s also a great way to highlight the quality produce we have on our doorstep.”
Thomas Turley, Culinary Lecturer from Belfast Met, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for our student chefs to research local seasonal produce and to gain expert advice on cutting edge culinary trends from Northern Ireland’s leading chefs.”
Tesco’s backing for the contest is part of an ongoing partnership which sees the company supporting Belfast Met initiatives, and it forms part of the wider Tesco Taste Northern Ireland campaign which supports local suppliers and local produce.
The college offers a range of professional cookery courses at its Titanic Quarter campus in the city.