Sunday 9 December 2018

Culinary king Derek lands top prize in inaugural competition

Fergal Maddock

A third-level Skerries student has clinched top prize at an inaugural internationally flavoured culinary competition.

In his second year of his culinary arts degree at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), Derek McClelland was part of the winning pair that has won the inaugural Dairy Chef 2018 competition along with his partner on the day, Pierre-Louis Delacroix from Université de Cergy-Pontoise.

A total of 10 students, five from France and five from Ireland, were selected to take part in the 2018 finale of Dairy Chef.

This competition was organised in a partnership between the Embassy of France in Dublin, Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), the National Dairy Council (NDC) and the French Dairy Council (Cniel).

Culinary students from top colleges in France and Ireland were invited to champion their institution by creating a three-course menu celebrating Irish and/or French dairy produce. Each dish had to include dairy as the main ingredient

For the finale, each Franco-Irish pair of students was given a mystery basket of ingredients and asked to produce a three-course meal of their choice with dairy produce included in each course.

Derek, a past pupil of Skerries Community College, who currently works as a pastry chef in Waterford's Bay Tree Bistro is delighted with his win.

He said: 'Winning the Dairy chef 2018 was a huge achievement for me personally and for my career. I've worked hard over the last three years to get myself to the position I'm in now, hearing my name being called out was a relief and I was overcome with happiness and excitement. I couldn't have done it without the continued education and support from my lectures at WIT, my current head chef Keith Boyle and of course my French partner on the day, Pierre.'

Derek's prize is a week-long "stage" within the prestigious kitchen of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs in Paris, France followed by a weekend of travel to experience the best of French gastronomic culture.

Fingal Independent