Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

St.Paul’s shortlisted for Big School Cook Off regional heat

St. Paul’s High School in Bessbrook is one of six county Armagh schools who have been announced as finalists for the Mount Charles Big School Cook Off, going forward to the regional heats stage of the nationwide competition to find the cookery talent of tomorrow.

Dynamic cooking duo, Catriona O’Hagan and Shane Malone, both  Year 10 students at St.Paul’s, now look forward to showcasing their unique ‘Slieve Gullion Burger’ dish at the upcoming regional heat.

Shortlisted from over 200 entries from post primary schools across Northern Ireland and Donegal,  Catriona and Shane join finalists from Lismore Comprehensive School, Craigavon; The Royal School, Armagh; St Catherine’s College, Armagh; St Patrick’s Grammar School, Armagh and St Ronan’s College in Lurgan in the County Armagh heat.

The first stage of the competition, which is run by Mount Charles, Ireland’s largest locally-owned foodservice and business support services company, tasked entrants to submit a creative recipe idea for a main course to feed two people, using locally sourced ingredients and working to a budget of £5 in total.

Regional heats will take place across the country in January 2018, with each team cooking their recipe submission.

The finalists will be judged on the day, with the winning team from each heat going forward to cook their recipe once again at the grand final in March 2018 for their chance to be crowned the Mount Charles Big School Cook Off Champions!

Cathal Geoghegan, Managing Director at Mount Charles said:

“The Big School Cook off is now in its second year and having been truly overwhelmed by the response and quality of the entries first time around, it is suffice to say the second year has not disappointed. There was incredible talent in the submissions we received, making it a real challenge to arrive at a shortlist.

“Entrants’ presentation, use and range of ingredients, as well as overall creativity was incredible and we can’t wait to get the chance to try our favourites in the regional heats.

“The objectives of the Big School Cook Off initiative are to promote a healthy approach to cooking, with a focus on local produce, while also encouraging the development of cookery skills in classrooms across the participating counties. The number of entries is an encouraging sign that children are cooking, and we hope that by creating initiatives such as the Big School Cook Off that we will uncover and nurture the future talent of the Mount Charles workforce.” 

The competition is run in association with the Irish News and Business in the Community.

Each winning team at the regional heats will receive a cheque for £200 for their school and a masterclass in cookery from Mount Charles Group Development Chef, Simon Toye, previously Executive Chef at the Michelin-starred Deanes restaurant in Belfast.

The overall winning team at the grand final will receive a cheque for £300 for their school, as well as a treat for their family, with a meal for four at the award winning George’s of The Market restaurant and tickets to see the Belfast Giants ice hockey team at the SSE Arena in Belfast.