Kildare students are finalists in 2019 Schools Apprentice Chef

Celbridge

Leinster Leader reporter

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Kildare students are finalists in 2019 Schools Apprentice Chef

Julia Sivakova and Karol Barwick with pictured with chef mentor Louise Brosnan, Mark Doe, mentor and co-founder of the Apprentice Chef Schools Programme, Susie Cox

Julia Sivakova and Karol Barwick of Celbridge Community College were two of the finalists competing for the title of Supreme Apprentice Chef at the south-east final of the 2019 Apprentice Chef Schools Programme, sponsored by Flogas and Failte Ireland, at Waterford IT on Thursday 16 May.

They are pictured with chef mentor Louise Brosnan, Mark Doe, mentor and co-founder of the Apprentice Chef Schools Programme, Susie Cox, nutritional consultant, Apprentice Chef Programme and Ellie Sugrue, the south-west Supreme Apprentice Chef.

Each finalist’s dish had to include ‘good mood foods’ based on seasonality, availability, locally produced and fresh unprocessed ingredients, to promote the importance of healthy eating in overall personal physical and mental wellbeing, as well as combating obesity and other health issues.

Julia impressed the judges with her baked salmon, herb pesto, baby potatoes and spring greens as did Karol with his pan-seared chicken stuffed with sundried tomato and mozzarella and spiced cous cous. The educational initiative for secondary students is now in its seventh successful year and was established by Mark Doe of justcooking.ie and Mark Murphy, senior lecturer in Culinary Arts at IT Tralee. 

Julia and Karol, along with the other finalists were presented with a chef’s uniform, certificate and specially monogrammed chopping board. Their schools will also receive a one-day cookery workshop from the Apprentice Chef culinary team.

This year, due to the level of interest from schools throughout Munster, it was divided into two events, with Ellie Sugrue from Mercy Mounthawk College Tralee winning the title of Supreme Apprentice Chef at the south-west final on 9th May at IT Tralee and Sophia O’Leary from Midleton College Cork winning the title of Supreme Apprentice Chef title in the south-east final at Waterford IT on 16 May.

Co-founders Mark Murphy of IT Tralee and Mark Doe of justcooking.ie are delighted with the response to date and plan to expand the Programme even further over the next few years.

Mark Murphy said,  “Congratulations to Julia and Karol on making the finals of the Apprentice Chef Schools Programme. With the support of our sponsors Flogas and Failte Ireland, over 4,000 secondary school students have been involved in culinary mentoring workshops to date. It is part of a  three year strategy to target 60 schools in Munster and expanding to secondary schools in Connacht in 2020 and a possible national event in 2021 or 2022.”

Mark Doe added, “The Apprentice Chef team is committed to running an educational programme that has viable learning outcomes for all who take part. The workshops and the mentoring process ensure that every student taking part benefits enormously from the experience.   None of this would be possible without the support of our sponsors, Flogas Ireland and Failte Ireland, and we’re looking forward to working with them in the years to come as we continue to grow and develop the Apprentice Chef Schools Programme.”