3 February 2020
By Elaine Murphy
The Metropole Hotel is hosting the Cork County Cooking Championships today (Monday 3rd of February). The County Cooking Championships launched late last year and sees chefs go head to head to represent their county in the National Finals. It has been described as ‘possibly one of the most exciting Chef competitions in years’.
There will be ten chefs talking part and they will be divided into two teams. There will be one chef from the Cork Airport Hotel taking part and one from the Metropole Hotel and two other chefs on McCurtain street. Stuart Dardis will be taking part from the Metropole Hotel and will be assisted by Nayara Ferrini who works with Stuart in The Metropole Hotel. Trevor O’Keeffe of the Cork Airport Hotel is taking part also.
Winners on the night will go through to represent Cork in the Munster finals. Attendees will decide the winners on the night alongside two of Corks most respected food journalists, Joe McNamee and Kate Ryan.
There are ten counties taking part around Ireland and the best chefs will go head to head in the final. Chefs have to cook a five-course meal to pay homage to the county’s artisan regional produce. Each chef will battle it out on their chosen course.
Dishes will be judged by score cards after each dish by diners on the night giving 50% of the vote, two external judges from the food industry will have a 50% vote. Scoring will be based on, regionalism, seasonality, taste, presentation and creativity, most importantly did it bring a smile to your face.
Chad Byrne, who is the Head Chef in the Brehon founded the County Cooking Championships with the aim of encouraging young people into the industry.
Chad also founded Chef Collab which sees apprentice chefs partnered with mentor chefs and they then spend time in the mentor’s kitchens. This allows them to learn new skills as well as work together to create a special dish. Each pair then cooks and serves their creation at the Chef Collab event. The Cork event was held in July last year at Olivo Restaurant at the Cork Airport Hotel.
Founder of the County Cooking Championships, Chad Byrne said: “Each chef will be joined by a commis chef so he or she can mentor and continue to train the next generation, giving back to the industry. It’s a promotion of our fantastic culinary heritage here in Kerry with amazing chefs championing our fantastic regional food and highlighting true community spirit, the craic will be surly had.”
“Our food producers will be on hand to mingle with our diners and as the chefs are cooking in the dining room there will be no shortage of banter, fun filled evening with the best food in the county being served with an amazing buzzing vibe and of course funky music rolled into one to make for a jam packed night full of craic and festivities.”
Managing Director of Trigon Hotels, Aaron Mansworth said: “We are delighted the County Cooking Championship is coming to Cork and especially pleased that some of our chefs will be taking part. This is such a fantastic initiative to highlight the possibilities that can come with careers in the hospitality sector. We are very proud of all our team members at Trigon Hotels and we are looking forward to hearing about the new skills and ideas that our chefs will learn as they take part in the County Cooking Championships.”