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2017 Dairy Council for Northern Ireland ‘Young Cook of the Year’


Talented young chef, Toby McCandless from Sullivan Upper School, has been awarded the prestigious accolade of the 2017 Dairy Council for Northern Ireland ‘Young Cook of the Year’. Toby impressed judges with his culinary creation which was deemed by the judging panel as being of a professional chef’s standard.

At this year’s event held at Ballyclare Secondary School, the students received an insight into how to run a Michelin starred restaurant by Head Chef and Great British Menu winner Mark Abbott. Mark who originally hails from Co. Antrim and who was destined to be a farmer, until school led him into the kitchen, gave pupils an insight into his career and shared his passion for working with locally sourced ingredients.

The ‘Young Cook of the Year’ competition which is a celebration of young people’s practical culinary skills has been created to encourage students to cook healthy meals incorporating our high quality local dairy products. This year’s cooking challenge focused on the 2017 World Dairy Summit which will be held in Belfast in the autumn, with over 1,200 delegates from 55 countries expected to attend. Students were invited to provide a meal for four of the visiting delegates, showcasing Northern Ireland and its local produce. Toby won the Key Stage 4 category in addition to being the overall winner.


Pictured Toby McCandless and Mark Abbott


Pictured Toby’s winning menu: Fresh Strangford Lough mussels with McIvor cider cream sauce served with soda bread, followed by Finnebrogue venison and blackberry jus served with quarky Comber potatoes and cavelo nero.

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