Welcome to the Apprentice Chef

The latest Apprentice Chef programme is under way. Please visit our Facebook page for up to date information.

27 finalists from secondary schools from the region of Munster took part in the Apprentice Chef Finale at the Institute of Technology Tralee on Friday 6th May 2016.

Following six months of preparation and regional cook-offs, the overall winner was 16 year old George Hennessy Of Midleton College Co. Cork.2nd place went to Rachel Wharton aged 15, from St Mary's School, Buttevant, Co. Cork and in third place was Aoife McMahon, aged 16 from St. Aloysuis College Best project went to Stephanie Kearney, aged 18 from Colaiste Pobail Naomh Mhiure.

The Apprentice Chef 2016

A delighted George who cooked a dish of roast lamb loin with potato fondant, salsa verde,beetroot, baby carrots and salsa verde was presented with a €1,000 equipment voucher for his school’s home economics department, a monogrammed chef’s uniform, a copy of co-founder Mark Doe’s cookbook and a specially commissioned Ambri chopping board.the apprentice chef team will also be visiting George's school to deliver a cookery workshop.All 27 finalists also received a uniform, certificate, cookbook and specially monogrammed chopping board.Rachel Wharton cooked a Trio of desserts that showed a large amount of skill and Aoife McMahon cooked a stunning roulade of chicken, mushrooms and spinach with a sweet potato and feta strudel.

The Apprentice Chef 2016

The Apprentice Chef project, sponsored by Flogas Ireland and Failte Ireland, is now in its 5th year. It was established by Mark Doe of the Just cooking cookery school and Mark Murphy,senior lecturer in Culinary Arts at IT Tralee.

Aimed at secondary school students, the theme was  ‘Good Mood Food’, to promote the importance of healthy eating in overall personal physical and mental wellbeing, as well as combating obesity and other health issues. Each finalist’s dish had to include ‘good mood foods’ based on seasonality, availability, locally produced and healthy unprocessed ingredients.The Apprentice Chef 2016

Co-founder Mark Murphy said,  “To date, over 1,400 secondary school students have attended culinary mentoring workshops at IT Tralee as part of the Apprentice Chef project.The last 4 years have part of a strategy to involve secondary schools at a national level.”Co-founder Mark Doe added, “Another aim of the project is to promote the advantages of locally sourced food from health and economic perspectives, and how this can also benefit the local economy by keeping jobs in the region.Accordingly, a huge vote of thanks to our sponsors Flogas Ireland and Failte Ireland for their support to date and we’re looking forward to building on its success in the coming years. The standard of project work and dishes produced is growing year on year and we would like to thank of all the students and teachers for their continued support”