The winners of all the national cocktail, barista and culinary competitions that took place over the course of three days at CATEX 2015 have been announced. The event welcomed 10,000 visitors to the RDS from the 17th to the 19th of January.
Talent from across the foodservice industry took part in competitions organised by The Bartenders Association of Ireland, The Specialty Coffee Association of Europe and Chef Ireland. Mixologists took part in three major cocktail competitions sponsored by Edward Dullon & Co.
The first prize for the National Hospitality Student Cocktail Challenge went to Finbarr Collins of Cork Institute of Technology. Michael O'Shea at the Marker Hotel won first prize in the 'Create it Mix it Shake it' Conceptual Cocktail Competition, while Owen Hughes from Knockranny House Hotel in Westport won the National Cocktail Competition. Hughes will go on behalf of Ireland to compete at the World Cocktail Competition in Bulgaria later this year.
Top baristas from across Ireland took part in the finals of their competitions as part of a schedule of events at the show sponsored by Avonmore. Dave Regan took the title of The Irish Latte Art Champion 2015, while Elvis Matiejunas was the Irish Cup Tasters Champion. The winner of the Irish Barista Competition was Natalia Piotrowska, who will go on to compete for Ireland at the World Barista Championship in Washington in April.
Chefs competed in a series of competitions sponsored by Calor and Stephens Catering. Sebastian Nowak of the Annebrook Hotel won the Senior Duck Competition and the Fish Dish Competition was taken by Gareth Carberry of Clontarf Castle. The College Student Competition was won by Galway Mayo IT's Cezary Sodel, Marek Hajdek, Shane Austin, Aisling Lee and Patrycja Sadowska. One of the newer competitions in the schedule this year was the Contract Caterers Culinary Challenge, which was won by Sodexo.
With turnout exceeding expectation, CATEX 2015 was hailed as further proof of an optimistic outlook for the Irish hospitality industry. Speaking at the opening of the show Minister for Tourism, Trade and Sport, Michael Ring, said, "I am confident that the on-going hard work of the varied stakeholders in food tourism, matched with government policy can help maintain and grow the economic recovery in the tourism sector."
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan