or talented chef, Daniel Skukalek, originally from Longford who has battled to win a place in the national final of the Knorr Student Chef of the Year competition.
A student at Athlone Institute of Technology, Daniel will travel to Limerick on February 23 to compete in a final cook-off with eight other student chef finalists. If successful, he will be crowned Best Student Chef in Ireland and win an all expenses paid trip to NOMA in Copenhagen, recently voted the Best Restaurant in the World.
Now in its 14th year, Knorr Student Chef is the biggest competition of its kind in Ireland and has become a respected and keenly fought contest in the Irish culinary world. Established by Unilever Food Solutions in 1996, the competition has put many former winners on the path to professional success and aims to discover the most talented and creative chefs coming through the ranks of Ireland’s 12 catering colleges.
The theme of this year’s contest is international culinary classics, a brief that will give the finalists a huge choice and test their knowledge and understanding of classic dishes from all over the world. In the final cook-off, students must produce their own signature starter and main course in under two hours - pressure that established chefs experience each day. Each entry will be evaluated on creativity, practicality and effective use of the Knorr Puréed herbs range of products, as well as workmanship, composition and presentation.
On the day, Daniel’s signature dishes include oriental prawn bisque and a roast saddle of rabbit with risotto and red wine jus.