Megan Delaney has been named the winner of Aramark’s Chef of the Year 2021, making an impression on the judges with her take on a plant forward menu.

In total seven of Aramark’s chefs competed against each other in a live cook off. They included Stephen Power, Irish Prison Services Training Centre; Megan Delaney, SAP Dublin; Danko Loncar, Avoca Monkstown; Sinead Connolly, Avoca Rathcoole; Andy Byas, JP Morgan and Jeff Murphy from Apple, Cork.

Competitors were required to prepare, cook, and present two portions of a main course dish.

Each dish had to be at least 75% plant based with a focus on using Irish seasonal fruits and vegetables. Each competitor was also required to present two portions of a hot dessert course with Fairtrade chocolate as the key ingredient.

The judging panel included Ross Lewis. Megan impressed with a main dish of tempura of stuffed courgette flower, seared monkfish, curried pumpkin velouté and cauliflower rice; followed by a white chocolate and raspberry fondant.

The competition saw second place awarded to Andy Byas, while Stephen Power was highly commended for his hygiene standards.

Derek Reilly, Culinary Director for Aramark, said: “After a challenging year and a half, it was great to see our talented chefs back in the kitchen showcasing their culinary skills. This year our finalists were asked to demonstrate their innovation, inspiration, and skills, while truly champion areas including sustainability, provenance, and seasonality. We are extremely proud of each and every one of our finalists who surpassed all expectations with their exceptional cooking.”

Following her win, Megan said: “I feel very honoured to have won the title of Aramark Chef of the Year title. Congratulations to all the other finalists and a very big thank you to Derek Reilly and the Aramark team for coordinating such a well organised, streamlined, and exciting competition. It’s great to be back in the kitchen and competing at such a high level.”

Following her win, Megan will now go on to compete in Aramark’s European Chef’s Cup in Prague.

The Aramark Ireland Chef of the Year event was supported by Unilever Food Solutions and Hugh Jordan.

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