AIT Student to Cook up a Storm at National Chef Competition

A second year culinary arts student studying at Athlone Institute of Technology will cook up a storm at this year’s Knorr Professional Student Chef of the Year competition.

Maria Dunne, who works as a commis chef at Kilkea Castle, is one of just nine nationally to be chosen to compete at the prestigious competition which is scheduled to take place in TU Dublin, Tallaght, on Tuesday, 10th March.

Now in its 23rd year, the Knorr Professional Student Chef of the Year competition will see some of Ireland’s most talented culinary students showcase their creativity and skills and create great tasting, nutritious dishes that send a message about improving the planet.

This year’s theme, 2020 - The Future of Foods, will challenge competitors to create dishes inspired by global challenges of sustainability and driving positive change.

Athlone Institute of Technology’s Maria Dunne, who won a gold, silver and bronze medal at last year’s CATEX, will take on Stephen Halford, TU Dublin, Marshall Condren, WIT; Cathal McDermott, North West Regional College; Ciara Kenneally, LIT; Caroline Hayes, CIT; Van Phuocle, DKIT; Conor Addis, South Eastern Regional College and Clodagh Fox, TU Dublin.

“It’s a great honour to represent your college in a competition at this level and it’s truly inspiring to see students eager and excited for the cook-off in a couple of weeks,” said Audrey Crone, executive head chef with Unilever Food Solutions and one of the competition judges.

Other judging panellists include Darina Brennan, group executive chef of Dalata Hotel Group; Annette Sweeney, co-ordinator of the culinary arts programmes at TU Dublin, Tallaght and food journalist Dee Laffan.

Athlone Institute of Technology is a contemporary third level institute distinguished by academic excellence in teaching, learning and research. The institute was awarded The Sunday Times ‘Institute of Technology of the Year 2020, 2018 and Runner-Up in 2017. The institute also tops Ireland’s official league table for research and was listed in U-Multirank’s ‘Top 25 Performing Universities in the World for Interdisciplinary Research’ in 2018 and 2019. Athlone Institute of Technology is currently ranked number one nationally for student satisfaction - a position it has maintained for six consecutive years. For more information relating to the institute’s CAO programmes, visit #ChooseAIT

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