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Dublin Student Named 'Knorr Student Chef Of The Year'

By Dave Simpson

Jade Ainscough of Institute of Technology Tallaght has been crowned the Knorr Student Chef of the Year 2018, after a two hour cook off that took place in Dundalk Institute of Technology.

Ainscough successfully fought off the challenge of six other young chefs to claim the top prize with her two dishes. The theme of this year’s competition was a ‘Contemporary Take on Traditional Pub Dishes’, celebrating Ireland's first Michelin starred pub, Wild Honey Inn in County Clare. The students had to prepare, cook and present a vegetarian starter and a main course celebrating sustainable Irish seafood, while against the clock.

Ainscough impressed the judges with a starter of grilled purple broccoli in harissa butter, mixed radish salad, millet croquette and parmesan shavings. For her main course, she created a 'fillet of seabass, spring vegetable stew, blanket of white wine jelly and coral crisp.

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Commenting on the inspiration behind each of her dishes, Ainscough said, “For my dishes, I researched many typical Irish pub dishes, many of which consist of quick and easy food. I wanted to carry over many of the same characteristics while adding a new twist.

“For the starter, I created a nutritional dish that doesn’t compromise on taste. With my fish dish, I decided to use seabass as it’s a great fish to work with, absorbs flavour easily and is different to what’s normally served in typical pub dishes.

“The dishes took the quick and easy idea, with salt and vinegar and fried elements, but equally are healthy and packed full of flavour, mimicking the classic ‘pub grub’ style.”

Speaking about the competition, Unilever Food Solutions business development chef Mark McCarthy said, “The student chefs are coming through college at an interesting time in the hospitality sector and the talent demonstrated in the competition proves our future kitchens are in safe culinary hands.

“The entrants year on year are testament to the Irish food industry and education centres. They are the very reason why Knorr Student Chef of the Year prevails as one of the country’s top culinary competitions.”

© 2018 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition. 

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Enjoy full access to Hospitality Ireland, our weekly email news digest, all website and app content, and every digital issue.
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