The final of the annual YFCU Home Management competition took place on Wednesday June 27th at Loughry College, CAFRE.
The final was the culmination of several competition stages which began back in autumn 2017.
Supported by Calor Gas and the Northern Ireland Pork and Bacon Forum, competitors from clubs throughout Northern Ireland had to prepare and cook a starter and main course using local pork and bacon and local produce within an allocated time.
In the junior section, competitors had to prepare a starter and then create a themed main course for two people incorporating pork or bacon into the dishes.
Each of the senior finalists had to prepare and produce a starter, main course and dessert for two people.
The main course had to exclusively use local produce and include appropriate use of home produced pork or bacon.
An invited audience had the opportunity to watch the competitors at work and also enjoyed a presentation by Racheal Lamont from Killure Farm Shop who provided a great insight into the steps she has taken to set up and run her own business in Coleraine.
Following Racheal’s presentation, chef Paula McIntyre sampled the entrants’ dishes to determine the results.
This was Paula’s fourth year judging the final and Paula’s background and keen eye for local Northern Irish produce meant that the competitors were under expert supervision during the final.
Commenting on this year’s competition Paula said: “It is great to be back at the home management final.
“This year an incredibly high standard of dishes have been presented.
“It has been no easy task to choose a winner in each of the categories.
“I would like to congratulate all the finalists on the level of professionalism they demonstrated.
“Their organisation, time management and attention to detail ensured that they each presented first class dishes.”
YFCU president, James Speers added: “Each year the YFCU home management final highlights the talent that we have within our YFCU membership.
“This year eight finalists have put many hours of preparation and planning into perfecting their dishes for tonight and that was reflected in the standard of dishes presented.
“Congratulations to all the girls on making it to the final, in itself that is a fantastic achievement.”
James continued: “I would also like to extend thanks to Paula McIntyre for once again judging the competition for YFCU.
“Earlier this year Paula was honoured with an MBE, this is incredible recognition of Paula’s services to the local agri-food industry.
“Congratulations Paula, YFCU would like to wish you all the best as you collect your prestigious award.
“Once again this year we have two competition sponsors, Calor Gas and the Northern Ireland Pork and Bacon Forum.
“We are pleased to have both sponsors on board, their support for the competition is greatly appreciated and we hope to continue this relationship in the years ahead.
“Finally I would like to thank Loughry College for hosting tonight’s competition.
“This is the first time the final has been held at Loughry College.
“The facilities are superb and I would like to thank the staff for their help and support throughout the evening.”
YFCU president, James Speers also announced the competition results.
In the junior section of the home management finals, first place was awarded to Claire Ramsay, Kilraughts YFC with Nicola Mitchell, Annaclone and Magherally YFC being awarded second place and Sarah Spence, Bleary YFC took third place.
In the senior section first place and the Linda Currie Gallery Tray went to Katie Witherspoon, Lisnamurrican YFC. Second place went to Rebecca Cromie, Rathfriland YFC and joint third place went to Judith McKinley, Trillick and District YFC and Hannah Cromie, Rathfriland YFC.
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