The senior winner of The Fine Dine at Mine All-Island schools cookery competition was Eada Hogan from Scoil Chriost Ri in Portlaoise.
Eada beat off stiff competition from around the country to reach the finals, and then to win the competition.
The junior and senior finals were held over two days, May 6 and May 7 in St Angela’s College, Sligo.
Sixteen finalists from all over Ireland battled it out for the coveted title.
Among the judging panel was chef Gary O’Hanlon from VM Restaurant of Viewmount House in Longford, the president of the Restaurants Association, Pádraic Óg Gallagher, head of the Home Economics Department in St Angela’s College, Sligo, Amanda McCloat, and Home Economics teacher at St Angela’s College, Dr Elaine Mooney.
Chef Gary O’Hanlon commented: “I was thrilled to be involved in the Fine Dine at Mine finals over the past two days. The standard from students even as young as 12 really impressed me and to see such enthusiasm and knowledge of product origin was quite impressive.”
The competition provided secondary school students with an opportunity to work with professionals and learn the tricks of the trade. The local chefs mentoring the students also provided them with an opportunity to cook and eat the best quality food produced in their local areas.
Each finalist in the competition had been paired up with a local restaurant and chef to mentor them on their dish.
Eada’s mentor was the Killeshin Hotel in Portlaoise.
The competition gave students an opportunity to create tasty, healthy and affordable restaurant meals at home. Students were asked to submit their favourite restaurant meal (main course dish only) for two people. Over 1,400 applications were received from all over the country and then narrowed down to 32 finalists (16 junior, 16 senior).
Amanda McCloat said: “It is fantastic to see such an interest and passion for food and cooking in young people which was nurtured by their Home Economics teacher and chef mentor during the stages of the competition.”