Lettermore chef crowned Healthcare Chef of the Year by Aramark

galway daily news Deconstructed Mikado by norma o'malley - healthcare chef of the year
Deconstructed Mikado

Nora O’Malley from Lettermore has been named Aramark Ireland’s Healthcare Chef of the Year 2022 for her interesting take on the ever-popular Mikado biscuit.

The chef at Áras Ronáin Inishmore scooped the prize after impressing judges at a live cook-off with five other Aramark chefs at an event in Dublin.

To mark Coeliac Awareness Week which takes place, from the 9-15 May, finalists were challenged to prepare, cook and present two portions of a gluten-free dish.

Nora served a Deconstructed Mikado, consisting of a coconut crumb, a raspberry marshmallow, and a raspberry gel.

The other finalists were Roman Borowski, Mayo University Hospital, Himat Singh, Atlantic Technical University, Antonia Ciera Ramos, University Hospital Galway, Krzysztof Stefanski and Elizabeth Olusona, both from Royal Hospital Donnybrook.

The judging panel was made up of three judges – Derek Reilly, Culinary Director for Aramark, Frances Buckley, from the Coeliac Society of Ireland, and the lead judge was Audrey Crone, Executive Chef at Unilver Food Solutions.

“I am thrilled to have been named Aramark’s Healthcare Chef of the Year 2022,” said Nora O’Malley.

“This is the first culinary competition I have ever taken part in, so to come away with a win is a proud moment for me.

“I’d like to congratulate my fellow competitors, who cooked amazing dishes on the day. A very big thank you to the whole Aramark team for organising a great event.”

Derek Reilly, Culinary Director for Aramark said this year the Healthcare Chef of the Year Competition coincided with Coeliac Awareness Week in Ireland, which was a big influence in deciding the competition rules.

“Our Healthcare chefs are regularly required to modify their dishes to specific dietary requirements, so we thought this competition was the perfect opportunity for our finalists to put these skills to the test,” he said.

“I am extremely proud of all the finalists who showed a real passion, enthusiasm, and energy during the final, while also demonstrating diligence in their stringent hygiene practices. I’d like to thank Unilever Food Solutions and the Coeliac Society of Ireland for their involvement, and a special thanks to Frances and Audrey for joining us on the day to judge the dishes.”