Thursday 22 February 2018

Dan cooks up silver at Chef of the Year

Chef Dan Cruickshank from Greystones with his six month old daughter Esmeralda.
Chef Dan Cruickshank from Greystones with his six month old daughter Esmeralda.

Mary Fogarty

Chef Dan Cruickshank from Greystones won a silver medal in the All-Ireland Chef of the Year competition at Salon 2017, the annual culinary competition run by catering and facilities services company for its 3,700 chef and non-chef staff in the Republic and Northern Ireland.

Dan, who works for Sodexo as head chef in St. Andrews College in Booterstown, Dublin impressed judges, including TV chef Derry Clarke.

The chef served a starter of elderberry fused watermelon gazpacho followed by burnt hake with green grape and a Peruvian cerviche.

His dessert was an orange blossom and lime crème with strawberries, edible flowers, caramelised banana and honeycomb. His menu was accompanied by an elderflower and candied rosemary gin fizz.

Dan said, 'My starter was inspired by a recent chef exchange trip to Texas where watermelon is very popular. I grew up in Greystones and worked for a time as a chef and fishmonger in a seafood restaurant and shop there so I was delighted that fish had to be the main ingredient for the entrée. I teamed it with a Peruvian cerviche, a traditional fish dish widely eaten in my mum's home country. Our dessert had to be citrus based so I opted for a cold, refreshing summery dish.'

The event took place at Cliff at Lyons in Kildare and Michelin-starred chef, TV personality and Sodexo ambassador Derry Clarke had his work cut out as one of the judges. Derry said, 'The chef of the year competition and the entire Salon was sizzling with talent. It's a tough audience as everyone there is involved with food on a professional level and we were all extremely impressed with the high levels of skill and presentation on show.'

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