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Finalists announced for 2020 Dairy Chef competition

The competition will see French and Irish students team up to create a dairy-based menu.


The ten finalists for the third annual Dairy Chef competition have been announced, with the final set to be held in Galway on Wednesday, April 1st.

Organised by the Embassy of France in Ireland, the National Dairy Council and the Centre national interprofessionnel de l’économie laitière, the Dairy Chef competition sees students from France and Ireland paired together to showcase their creativity and create a winning menu with Irish and French dairy as the main component.

READ MORE: How to create a cracking cheeseboard

The competition was open to students from culinary institutes in Ireland and France, with each establishment allowed to put forth only one candidate. Each student had to submit their entry complete with a recipe for each dish, a photo per course, a description about why the dish wouldn't work without dairy and a description about how they would promote their dishes in a restaurant. 

From there, a panel of judges selected five Irish students and five French students to progress to the final. Each Irish student was paired with a French student with whom they will work to create a full menu ahead of April's final. The final teams are as follows:

  • Marcin Wisniewski from Kerry College of Further Education and Training and Théo Vermeulen from lycée hôtelier de La Rochelle
  • Sophie Walsh from Cork Institute of Technology and Florentin Gamelin from CFA Eugénie Brazier
  • Niamh Kelly from Cork Institute of Technology and Alan Berrivin from faculté des métiers du CFA de la CCI d’Ille et Vilaine
  • Daniel Lambert from Letterkenny Institute of Technology and Florent Teillet from lycée Biarritz Atlantique
  • Tiago Souza Capeletti from Galway Mayo Institute of Technology and Etienne Alison from CFA Médéric

READ MORE: Our cheesy taste test with Loose Canon

Getty Images.
Getty Images.

The competition

This year's theme for the final is Meitheal, which an old Irish word for work team. In its simplest form, the theme is all about the concept of sharing and community, so the contestants will have to take their inspiration from this idea.

On the day, the contestants will present their three-course meals to the panel of judges for appraisal. This year's panel includes renowned pastry chef Paula Stakelum, Michelin-starred chef JP McMahon and French chef and journalist Sonia Ezgulian. The cook-off will officially open the 5th annual FICAHT Forum (the Franco-Irish Forum on Culinary Arts, Hospitality, and Tourism Forum), which will take place in Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) from April 1st-4th.

There are many prizes for the winners, including culinary tours, dinners and opportunities to intern in one of two famous Galway restaurants, Ashford Castle or Aniar, or in the prestigious kitchen of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris.

Good luck to all of the finalists!

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