DIT student crowned Knorr Student Chef of the Year

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 Knorr Student Chef of the Year 2014 Fiona Drought with Jim Reeves, Customer Director at Unilever Food Solutions and Marguerite O’Gorman, Marketing Executive at Unilever Food Solutions

DIT Student Fiona Drought wows judges with superbly crafted dishes at 17th edition of Knorr Student Chef of the Year 

14 February 2014 Fiona Drought from Dublin Institute of Technology has been crowned the Knorr Student Chef of the Year for 2014 following a closely fought final held at her home college in Cathal Brugha Street. 14 student chefs from across the island of Ireland prepared two dishes each in front of an expert judging panel that included TV chef Catherine Fulvio with Fiona emerging as the overall winner.

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Fiona’s dish is a ‘Woodland Wonder – Symphony of Irish Venison’

The theme of this year’s contest was Wise up on Food Waste to mark the European Year Against Food Waste. The finalists were tasked with using sustainably sourced ingredients and limiting the amount of food waste generated. Fiona prepared a main course of a Symphony of Irish Venison that wowed the judging panel of Mark McCarthy from Unilever Food Solutions; TV host, food writer and Ballyknocken House proprietor Catherine Fulvio; Green Hospitality Programme Director James Hogan and Pat Zaidan, chef lecturer at DIT. Faced also with having to prepare a dessert using only ingredients taken from a mystery basket revealed on the day, Fiona served up a sweet treat to come home ahead of high-quality culinary competition from all four corners of Ireland.

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Fiona’s dish is a ‘Woodland Wonder – Symphony of Irish Venison’

Fiona can now look forward to a trip of a lifetime to Modena in Italy for dinner at the three Michelin-starred Osteria Francescana,recently voted the third best restaurant in the world. Added to this amazing dining experience, Fiona will she will also be taken on a bespoke culinary tour in Verona to enhance her knowledge and understanding of Italian cuisine.

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Fiona hard at work in preparing her winning dishes at the Knorr Student Chef Final 2014

Speaking following the winning announcement Mark McCarthy, Business Development Chef at Unilever Food Solutions and head judge said: “I knew before today’s final that it would take something special to win, and that is exactly what Fiona has produced. All 14 finalists cooked to an extremely high standard, while remaining mindful of eliminating food waste and using sustainable ingredients. Both of Fiona’s dishes ticked all the right boxes in terms of preparation, flavour and presentation and we were unanimous in choosing her as our very worthy winner.”

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Fiona hard at work in preparing her winning dishes at the Knorr Student Chef Final 2014

This was the 17th edition of the Knorr Student Chef competition, providing the ultimate showcase for aspiring student chefs to demonstrate their talents in a competitive and highly-charged food environment. Speaking after being crowned 2014 Knorr Student Chef of the Year Fiona said: “To win this competition is a dream come true for me and I’m delighted that all the preparation and hard work I put into it paid off. Both dishes I created came from the heart and I think that the personal influence in both helped them to stand out. The standard was really high this year and I know that my fellow competitors and I will all benefit from their experience in taking part in a competition such as this. I’m really looking forward to going to Italy now and continuing on my culinary adventure.”

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