Chef Chad Byrne to launch Irish County Cooking Championship

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 25th November 2019

Chad Byrne is set to launch the first Irish County Cooking Competition, kicking off with a preliminary knock-out round at Brehon Hotel Killarney on November 27th.

Chefs representing Munster and Ulster will take each other on in head to head cook-offs for a room full of diners to determine a winner.

Showcasing some of the best chefs in the country cooking alongside chefs that fly under the radar, the competition will pay homage to local suppliers, their craft and their skill.

The first chapter of this event will be an all-Munster affair, with chefs Keith Pigott, Peter Jackson, Bryan McCarthy, Tom Walsh and Chad Byrne.

Meanwhile, Ulster dates will be revealed in the new year, and the search for chefs to represent the best of the province and its vibrant culinary scene will begin once the Munster preliminaries have kicked off.

Once a knockout stage is done in the preliminaries, each team will consist of 5 of the county's best chefs, and the winning counties of both North and South will go head to head in a clash of the champions of the two provinces.

Cooking a 5-course meal using artisan regional produce, the 5 winning chefs from will then go on to represent their county in the regional final.

Chefs will each be assigned a course to compete and cook against each other, with the sole requirement that they use the same core ingredient from their region. 

The 5 courses will be as follows:  vegetarian, plant-based, sustainable fish course, meat course, classical dessert.

50 percent of the judging process will be done by diners on the night with scorecards and the remaining 50 percent will be decided by 2 food professionals who also judge on the night. 

Scoring will be based on regionalism, seasonality, taste, presentation and creativity. Each chef will be joined by a commis chef who they will mentor throughout the competition.

Chad Byrne said the competition was "an opportunity to showcase our culinary heritage with amazing chefs championing our fantastic regional food and highlighting true community spirit."

"The competition will be a serious show of skills, craft and determination, with each chef promoting their region to honour their culinary heritage."

"Who would have thought chef rivalry is such a thing... Let the games begin!"

Producers will be on hand throughout the night to share their passion about produce and the chef captains from each county in Munster have been chosen and will also be present on the night. 

Meanwhile, preparations for the Munster leg are well underway, with the semi-final taking place in The Gleneagle Hotel and Final being held in Thomond Park, with dates to be confirmed. 

Preliminary cook-off dates: 

Kerry              27th November 2019
Cork               3rd February 2020
Limerick         17th February 2020
Claire             17th February 2020
Waterford       24th February 2020
Tipperary        3rd March 2020

One thing is for certain, Chad said, and that is in this competition, "it's all about the food." 

"Lets see who Ireland's best are!"

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 25th November 2019

Chef Chad Byrne to launch Irish County Cooking Championship