CIT Student wins the Final of Knorr Student Chef of the Year Competition

CIT Student wins the Final of Knorr Student Chef of the Year Competition

Published on: Thursday, 23 February 2012

Congratulations to CIT student Shane Deane who competed in a final cook off with ten other student chef finalists in CIT’s Tourism and Hospitality Building on the 22nd February.


photo courtesy of the Evening Echo
Shane was crowned Best Student Chef in Ireland and won a fantastic grand prize that includes a specially commissioned perpetual trophy to commemorate the 15th year of the competition, a fantastic food-photography experience with one of the UK’s most acclaimed food photographers, Gareth Morgans, and an evening of gastronomic greatness in Heston Blumenthal’s multi-award winning The Fat Duck Restaurant.


Now in its 15th year, Knorr Student Chef of the Year is the biggest competition of its kind in Ireland and has become a respected and keenly fought contest in the Irish culinary world. Established by Unilever Food Solutions in 1996, the competition has put many former winners on the path to professional success and remains an excellent opportunity for chefs of the future to showcase their talent, love of food, creativity and innovation in front of some of Ireland’s leading food professionals.


The theme of this year’s competition was Irish Fusion and heading up the judging panel was Unilever Food Solutions’ Business Development Chef, Mark McCarthy; Chef Lecturer, CIT, Ciarán Scully; and guest judge Martin Shanahan, Chef Proprietor of award-winning fish restaurant, Fishy Fishy, in Kinsale, Co Cork, and presenter of the television series, 'Martin’s Mad About Fish' and 'Martin’s Still Mad About Fish'.

The judging panel challenged students to create a starter and main course, taking inspiration from regional cuisines around Ireland and using at least two Knorr products. The starter dish had to demonstrate a taste of the sea to complement the skills and interest of guest judge, Martin Shanahan. Each dish was judged on its creativity, practicality and effective use of ingredients. For the first time, students were also asked to explain the personal influence behind each of their dishes and points were awarded for how they expressed themselves through their menu.

Commenting on the high calibre of entries received this year, Mark McCarthy said: “The standard of entries we received this year has been really fantastic. Knorr Student Chef is a brilliant opportunity for talented amateur cooks to showcase their cooking skills and demonstrate their culinary creativity in front of leading food professionals. Although Irish diners are becoming much more adventurous in their food taste, they are also becoming more appreciative of where their food comes from, which makes this year’s challenge particularly pertinent."

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