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DkIT Culinary Arts students serve up gold at Chef Ireland 2020

12 February 2020

Two Culinary Arts students at Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) received  gold and silver medals along with best in class titles at this year’s Chef Ireland 2020competition which took place this month in Citywest Hotel, Co Dublin.

Second year students, Ryan Dowling from Shercock, Co Cavan and Van Phouc Le from Dundalk, Co Louth were awarded the highest marks in the Junior Fish Competition with their dish of brill, cauliflower and mussel ragu, taking home the gold award and 'Best in Class' for the dish. 

This was preceded with a silver medal and 'Best in Class' in the Junior Lamb competition the previous day. The students received high praise from the panel of judges with their professionalism, attention to detail and cooking skills. Chef Ireland judge, Billy Grimes said that "they are a credit to DkIT with bright futures ahead"

Speaking about their experiences, Ryan Dowling said, 

“We only had 2 weeks to prepare for the competition and it was a great experience competing against our peers from all over the country. We received great support from our fellow students at DkIT but especially our wonderful lecturers. Alan McCabe and Michael McNamara mentored us for the competitions and we couldn't be anymore grateful for thire time, effort and support.”

Another Best in class and Silver medal was won by second year student, Conor Farrell for his cold display Sacher Torte which rounded off two fantastic days of competition for the DkIT Students.

Head of the Department of Hospitality Studies at DkIT, Brianain Erraught was full of praise and noted that the students “have put in a lot of work and it's great to see them rewarded for this, we are very proud of them".

Winning student, Van Phouc added;

“It is the great chance to compete with young chefs from around the country to see where we are in this culinary industry. Also, I want to challenge myself. As a young chef, we are hungry to get medals. We are so proud to represent Dundalk IT to take part in, and luckily we won the competition.”

Mentored by lecturers Rosemary Leonard, Michael Mc Namara and Alan Mc Cabe, the students also won the Grand Prix prize for DkIT with the highest marks amongst junior entries over the 2 days of competition.

DkIT currently offers a Level 7 BA in Culinary Arts with a one year Level 8 Add-On option, BA (Hons) in Culinary Arts. Other hospitality programmes at DkIT available via CAO include the BSc (Hons) in International Tourism Management, BA in Hospitality Management and BA in Events Management.

For more information about these courses please visit

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