Lee crowned Knorr Student Chef of the Year

By Maurice Garvey

TALLAGHT chef Lee McDonagh was crowned Knorr Student Chef of the Year 2019 after he won a two-hour cook-off competition.

The win for McDonagh, representing Technological University Dublin – Tallaght campus, makes the Tallaght campus the reigning champions for two years running.

Chef Lee McDonagh

Lee McDonagh 

Lee went up against seven other young student chefs from across Ireland.

The criteria involved the creation of two plates and students are marked for their creativity and interpretation of the theme, as well as the presentation of each dish, food waste management and allergen awareness.

Inspired by the theme of ‘street food’ for the competition, Lee impressed the judges with tasty dishes of ‘lobster maki, sushi, avocado, yuzu and caviar,’ and a contemporary presentation of the classic ‘fish and chips with a warm tartar emulsion.’

“I have a keen interest in Japanese cuisine and enjoy learning about different cultures and food traditions,” said Lee.

“My dishes were reflective of traditional street food plates, with a more modern interpretation. I’m lucky that my father works as a professional chef and I’ve grown up observing his love for food and passion for the industry which also provides great inspiration for my own work.”

This year’s competition was judged by a panel comprising Unilever’s Audrey Crone and special guest judge Bobby Kerr, entrepreneur, businessman and broadcaster and Lorain Walsh, Chef Lecturer, Waterford Institute of Technology.

As well as winning the Knorr Student Chef of the Year title, Lee gets to go on a unique London food tour, sampling what the UK capital city has to offer in terms of produce, street food and Michelin experiences.

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