Ballynahinch pupils win Co Down Big School Cook Off competition

Ballynahinch pupils win Co Down Big School Cook Off competition

6 February 2019

TWO pupils from Assumption Grammar School in Ballynahinch have come with the winning recipe in a top cookery competition.

After an outstanding display of talent, creativity, technical skills and local knowledge, Year 9 students Aoife McKee and Clodagh Burke have won the Co Down regional final of the Mount Charles Big School Cook Off.

Aoife and Clodagh will join seven other teams from across Northern Ireland and Donegal in the grand final of the competition, which will be held in Belfast Met’s Titanic Quarter campus in March.

The girls faced stiff competition from three other Co Down schools, but their dish of paneer stuffed pancakes saw them take the top spot.

Mary Jo McKenna, Home Economics teacher at Assumption Grammar School, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the girls have won their regional heat and are very grateful for the opportunity to compete in the competition. 

“The girls have been so enthusiastic in their preparation for the competition and were very passionate about using local produce in their dish. We are so excited to have made it to the final and would like to thank Mount Charles for giving us this opportunity.”

Caitriona Lennox, Business Development and Retention Manager at Mount Charles, Ireland’s largest locally owned foodservice company, and Big School Cook Off Ambassador said: “First of all, a huge congratulations to all of the schools and the team from Assumption Grammar School who made it to the final stage of the competition.

“Our taste buds were well and truly tickled at the heats. The talent and creativity these young chefs displayed was exceptional.

“We would love to see more young people considering a culinary career, so the Big School Cook off is our way to encourage and inspire them, helping them to grow a valuable life skill that might just pave the way to success in the future,” she added.

The competition is being run by Mount Charles in association with The Irish News and SuperValu.

Special guest Imelda McCarron, a contestant from the BBC’s Great British Bake Off, will join the judging panel for the grand final.

Nearly 200 dishes were entered into the first stage of the contest, with only the very best making it as far as the regional heats.

Each winning team at the regional heats will receive a personalised apron, a finalist plaque for their school and a chef’s jacket to wear to the final on March 6.

The overall winning team at the grand final will win £100 of catering equipment vouchers for their school as well as a winning school plaque and 12 VIP private box tickets to see the Belfast Giants ice hockey team at the SSE Arena.