Budding chefs from St. Ronan’s win place on School Cook Off final

Armagh heat winners Niamh Bracken and Carla Withers, St Ronan's College with judges Brian Quinn and Caitriona Lennox of Mount Charles.
Armagh heat winners Niamh Bracken and Carla Withers, St Ronan's College with judges Brian Quinn and Caitriona Lennox of Mount Charles.

Lurgan’s St. Ronan’s College pupils Niamh Bracken and Carla Withers, a team of Year 9 pupils have been named regional finalists of the 2017 Mount Charles Big School Cook Off, and will progress to the grand final in June.

The teams dish of Creamy Pesto Pasta beat off stiff competition from St Catherine’s College and Lismore Comprehensive School at their heat.

The competition, was organised in association with the Irish News and Business in the Community. It was created to inspire young people to think about healthy eating and to encourage them to consider a future career in the hospitality industry.

In the heat, the St Ronan’s team competed against 39 teams of pupils between Year 8 – Year 10 from 21 schools across Northern Ireland and Donegal. They were given the same set of ingredients to create a pasta dish of their choice.

Head of Year and HE teacher Mrs Eimear Brock said: “We are delighted to see two young girls who are very enthusiastic about cooking make it to the final stage of the competition The Big School Cook Off. It has been a brilliant experience and thank you for the great guidance at the heat from Simon Toye, the Mount Charles chef.”

Leann Duffy, Group Director of Catering at Mount Charles congratulated the girls. She said: “Well done to the St Ronan’s team. It was amazing to see how the same set of ingredients could be used to create such a variety of wonderful dishes, demonstrating the creativity and innovation of these young people – we’d be delighted to see them join our own talented chefs in the future.”

Winners at the the grand final will win £300 of vouchers for their school, a treat for their family, a meal at George’s of The Market restaurant and tickets to see Belfast Giants.