Less than a year after joining the team at the Shannon Springs Hotel chef Anthony Walsh has won his first-ever cookery competition.
Now, the proud owner of a Gold medal, he understands and appreciates hotel owner John Gavin’s winning ways with food and the level to which he can deliver.
It was at Gavin’s prompting that the duo joined forces to cook and serve an almost Michelin star level four-course menu to a panel of 14 judges and beat 7 other teams of chefs to win the Gold medal and be declared overall class winners in the ‘Cook Serve’ category in the Panel of Chefs of Ireland culinary competitions at CATEX 2017, held in the RDS, Dublin.
Using locally sourced produce, their winning menu comprised a scorched fillet of Ballyvaughan Mackerel as starter and a main course which consisted of Burren Lamb cooked in two ways, as a cannon of lamb wrapped in a paper-thin layer of its own fat and baby spinach, garlic and shallot and rolled in crepinete and, a rump of lamb marinated in garlic and rosemary, both served with equally complex side dishes.
Their Banana Flambé dessert, prepared by Caroline Moloney, a Year 3 student at Shannon College of Hotel Management, was set aflame with Bunratty mead.
Commenting on their achievement, John Gavin said: “Winning did not come easy. We had two hours to prepare and serve our menu so this involved long hours practising to ensure that we had every aspect of the dish timed to perfection. In culinary terms, we had 60 movements between all dishes and if any one fell behind, we knew we would be up against it as the competition was stiff.
“While we had completed 3 full-menu trial runs and had everything timed to the minutest second before going to the RDS, it was quite nerve wrecking being watched by 16 sets of eyes: 8 judges from the Panel of Chefs of Ireland judged our food and 6 judged the service provided by Caroline. It was a tremendous team effort and I am so proud of what we have achieved for Shannon. It’s all down to team spirit,” said Gavin.