Having received a huge volume of entries across two categories, the National Dairy Council has chosen the lucky winners of their ‘Cheese Up Your Life’ Competition, just in time for National Cheese Week from 5th – 9th June 2017. Hanna Mathe, who is studying Culinary Arts at Waterford Institute of Technology, won first prize in the Culinary Student category for her delicious Blue Cheese, Kale and Pecan Tart.
Amateur chef and cheese enthusiast Róisín Gallagher won first prize in the Passionate Cooks and Foodies category with her innovative take on a classic lasagne, the Cheesy Bean Lasagne really impressed the judges as a tasty and nutritious every day dish for all the family. The three judges for the competition, which will see the winners jet off to Tuscany on a culinary tour, included Irish chef and food writer Clodagh McKenna, former Irish Olympian and Fit Foodie Derval O’Rourke and Vanessa Greenwood of Cooks Academy.
Speaking on the success of the competition, Derval said: “The standard of the recipe entries for this competition were extremely impressive and it made our jobs as judges even more difficult. It was really great to see amateur cooks creating delicious recipes using a wide range of Irish and European cheeses and really demonstrating the diverse versatility and great taste of cheese”.
The other four finalists also put forward impressively innovative recipes. Donna Hennessey, a food writer and blogger from Cork created a tempting snack of Haloumi Fries served with a spicy yoghurt dressing and fresh pomegranate. Elke O’Mahony, also from Cork, created a delicious and unique Cauliflower Cheddar & Walnut Tart. An indulgent Irish Farmhouse Mac and Cheese packed a punch using three different types of farmhouse cheese from Kristen Jensen based in Louth. Finally, sisters Gráinne and Shauna Moggan from Dublin brought fish and cheese in harmony with their scrumptious Cheesy Fish Smokies.
The competition forms part of an EU wide programme with the aim of promoting and creating awareness of the taste, versatility and convenience of cheese in everyday life. The finalist’s six recipes are available to download at www.cheeseupyourlife.ie and videos of the recipes will be available soon on NDC’s YouTube Channel.