Fourteen-year-old Jamie McColgan from the Little Angels School in Letterkenny, was cooking up a storm in a national competition.
The ‘Takeaway My Way’ schools cookery competition is annually organised by St. Angela’s College, Sligo and sponsored by Safefood.
The competition challenges post primary students to cook healthy, home-made, low-cost versions of their favourite takeaway dish.
It was Jamie’s recipe of heated chicken salsa tortillas which caught the judges’ attention and managed to secure him a place in yesterday’s grand final.
This year the competition received over 1,000 entries. Jamie was extremely excited about the competition and was up and about preparing to leave his Whitethorn Close home in Letterkenny from 6am yesterday morning.
Well known hairdresser, Patrick Gildea cut and styled his hair for the event, The County Seat gave him a lovely new school uniform and Greenes Shoes made sure his feet were comfortable during the competition with a lovely pair of new shoes.
His parents, Noreen and Martin, were surprised to hear that their son had secured a spot in the top cooking competition adding that they were very proud of their teenage boy.
“I couldn’t believe it when his teacher Kevin Cassidy called to let me know that Jamie had made it through to the final in the competition,” Noreen said.
“He has only cooked once or twice at home and we never realised he was cooking at school. He cooked a fish perfectly once and he brought home a tortilla from school as well. I tasted some of that and it was lovely.”
The competition, is now in its third year and is designed to help students think about healthy eating and provide them with the skills to create healthier alternative take away dishes in a creative, fun and practical way.
Jamie was extremely happy to be among the select 32 finalists fastening their aprons behind their backs and getting to work on their dishes at the finals in St. Angela’s College yesterday. The competition continues today.
The panel of judges includes award-winning chef Neven Maguire.
Competition prizes include iPads, vouchers for cooking equipment and an exciting class trip to Neven Maguire’s cookery school.
The director of Marketing and Communications at Safefood, Fiona Gilligan said: “The high quality of entries for this year’s competition from right across the island of Ireland is very encouraging and all shortlisted students have demonstrated a real flair for creating delicious and healthy takeaway dishes”.