29 Sept 2022

Time is running out for Derry schools to submit their 'Big School Cook Off' competition entries

Winners of the title will receive Private Box VIP tickets to an SSE Arena Ice Hockey match

cookery comp

Schools are being urged to get their entries in fast.

The annual Mount Charles Big School Cook Off Competition is seeking entries from Derry pupils aged between 11 and 14.

Teams of two are challenged to whip up an original main course recipe idea that can be bought on a budget of a tenner.

This year teams are asked to submit their recipe ideas by uploading a word document or a video to  detailing their recipe choice, locality and seasonality of their ingredients and how they researched and tested their dish.

A panel of judges will review all the entries after the closing date on Friday November 22 and shortlist seven teams – one from each county in the North and Donegal – to go head to head in the grand finale at Belfast Met’s Titanic Quarter Campus, next March.

Competitors will have one hour to reproduce the recipe they entered and the judges who will be joined by Great British Bake Off 2018 contestant, Imelda McCarron, will choose the winning dish.

County finalists will also be invited to perform a cookery demonstration of their dish, at their local SuperValu store in January, ahead of the final.

Last year saw Donegal duo Hayden Nelis and Oisin McHugh from Scoil Mhuire, Milford, take home the top prize. They created a dish of Noisettes of Lamb, Minted Pea Puree, Duchess Potatoes, Rosemary Jus Lie and beat off stiff competition from the other six county teams to be crowned the champions.

Urging student teams in Derry to get their entries in before the closing date on Friday November 22, Caitriona Lennox, Business Development Manager at Mount Charles said: “We’re calling for all post primary schools to get involved in our competition. It’s so beneficial for pupils who enter. They are learning about food provenance, team work, timing, communication and taking part gives them such a sense of independence and achievement.

“We’re looking for creativity and diversity in the entries, so take your inspiration from local ingredients, the food you love to eat and enter now!”

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