Oct. 2019/ Dairy Chef 2020 – Let the competition begin [fr]

The scholastic competition of France-Ireland culinary chefs is back for a third edition!

Hosted by the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology and organised by the Embassy of France in Ireland, the National Dairy Council and the Centre national interprofessionnel de l’économie laitière, the purpose of this competition is to give students the opportunity to showcase skills and knowledge developped within their institution.


The success of the competition lies in the importance of dairy in both Irish and French gatronomy:

A word from the NDC in Ireland - “From the sweeping Irish landscape of pasture-based dairy farms to the diverse range of Irish dairy products, it is no wonder Ireland is recognised internationally for its high-quality dairy produce and dairy ingredients. The versatility of dairy foods allows for its uses in main meal dishes; starters and appetisers; snacks; and desserts. Irish dairy produce has a superb reputation for quality in global markets. In Ireland, the green countryside is a tremendous asset because the pasture-based model of dairy farming is a vital ingredient for the success of Irish dairy produce all over the world.”

A word from the Cniel in France - “True culinary symbols, dairy products are part of the French historical, cultural and gastronomical legacy. Their extraordinary diversity is a result of the multiplicity of terroirs (soil, climate, altitude, ...), of their specific vegetation (fodder for animals), of local knowledge and cultural traditions. To transcend the ages, dairy products have constantly evolved and reinvented themselves. Nowadays, with French dairy products, the field of possibilities is infinite!”


Year 2020 is all about Galway, and Dairy Chef will be no exception! European Capital of Culture in 2020, Galway is the best place to hold the 5th Forum of the FICAHT network from 31st March to 4th April 2020.
The theme of Dairy Chef 2020 has been chosen to embrace this exceptional year: Meitheal.

This Irish word hints to a work team, group, or party and denotes the co-operative labour system in Ireland where groups of neighbours help each other in turn with farming work, such as harvesting crops. This year’s competition will be about coming together, community, conviviality and sharing good food! We can’t wait to see how students will interpret this theme into their menu.


Have a look at last year’s Dairy Chef contest.

Up to 5 French and 5 Irish finalists will participate in a cook-off final in Galway, GMIT, on Wednesday 1st April 2020. Culinary students of top colleges in Ireland and France will be invited to create a three-course menu celebrating Irish and French dairy produce. Each dish created must include dairy as the main ingredient.

[NEW] Teams, each formed by one Irish student and one French student, will be drawn in January [NEW] just after the selection of finalists by the jury. Each pair will be given a basket of ingredients and will have two months to create a menu together around Dairy products.

There are many prizes for the winners, including culinary tours, diners and opportunities to internships in one of two famous Galway restaurants, Ashford Castle and Aniar, or in the prestigious kitchen of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris.

[NEW] The students and their home institutions will be responsible for the organisation of the internship directly with the restaurant and GMIT [NEW]. Students will need to be accompanied by a teacher and to still retain their student status in order to do the internship (the internship needs to take place before graduation).



This contest is free to enter and open to participating post leaving cert institutions offering culinary arts training in France and Ireland.

Registration will follow a two-step process:

1. Registration of the institutions by 15 November 2019

Institutions need to register on the form below to enter the competition. Once they are registered, they can select internally the student(s) that will represent their institution and submit a menu. A preparatory webinar with the organisers will be held for tutors from all registered institutions.

2. Application of the students by 13 December 2019

The link to the application form will be sent by email to the institutions. Only 1 student per institution can apply (2 per institute of technology and for the technology university). The selection of the candidate is up to the institution. The applicant will need to provide a name and photo for each dish and a brief explanation of:

  • the list of ingredients and recipe;
  • a description of why the recipe wouldn’t work without dairy;
  • how to promote your dish in a restaurant.

The scoring sheet used by the jury for the selection of the finalists is available below.

PDF - 151.4 kb
Dairy Chef- Scoring Sheet 2020
(PDF - 151.4 kb)


The competition is open to culinary students in full-time education in participating post leaving cert institutions in France and Ireland.

The organisers will consider as a participant any student who has been approved by a registered institution, provided a menu, accepted all the terms and conditions of the contest and agrees to be present in Galway from Tuesday 31st March (get together event in the evening) until Thursday 2nd April (departure).

The Cook-Off final takes place on Wednesday 1st April 2020 (8am-2pm + award ceremony in the evening) at the GMIT. Expenses to participate in the final and related to the prize will be covered by the sponsors for the finalist students and one tutor per institution.

Entrants meeting the criteria set out in the Terms and Conditions may participate by providing a three-course menu to the person in charge of the competition in their institution. Each recipe on the menu should:

  • use a dairy product as a key component,
  • participate to the theme of the year,
  • be tasty,
  • be well presented.

Dairy products used must come from Ireland or France only. Please read the terms and conditions of the competition below.

PDF - 222.3 kb
Dairy Chef- Terms & Conditions 2020
(PDF - 222.3 kb)


Registration for the competition is now CLOSED.
A videoconference is organised for all registered institutions on Thursday 28th November at 11.30am. Details will be sent by email.

(First Name, last Name) Teacher or administrative staff in charge of communication with organisers and students. This person will attend the preparatory/information webinar, accompany the student to the final (if selected) and to the internship (if winner).

For example English or culinary arts teacher

(Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, only if your institution wish to be identified in future communications on the competition)

Terms and conditions of participation

  1. A culinary art competition called Dairy Chef is organised from October 2019 to April 2020 by the Embassy of France in Ireland as part of the France-Ireland network on Culinary Arts Hospitality and Tourism (FICAHT) with the support of the National Dairy Council (NDC, in Ireland) and the Centre National Interprofessionnel de l’Économie Laitière (CNIEL, in France). It is hosted by the Galway International Hotel School at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology.
  2. The Jury’s decisions are final.
  3. Judging panel for the final competition:
    - Representative of the Embassy of France in Dublin,
    - Representative of the Embassy of Ireland in Paris,
    - NDC representative,
    - CNIEL representative,
    - Three chefs based in France and Ireland.
  4. Each recipe on the three-course menu must:
    - Use a dairy product as a key component,
    - Participate to the theme of the year,
    - Be tasty,
    - Be well presented.
  5. Entrants must be full time culinary students and apprentices in a post leaving cert institution in the Republic of Ireland or France.
  6. Participants must be 16+ years old on the day of the final.
  7. French participants will need to have a sufficient knowledge of English to enter the competition. A certificate from their institution may be required. The final at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology will take place in English.
  8. Students that have already participated in the final Cook-Off are not allowed to enter again.
  9. The jury will select the finalists among the champions from the institutions by the end of January. Finalists will take part in the Cook-Off event at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology on the 1st of April 2020. Each local champion will receive an attestation of participation.
  10. The finalists MUST be able to attend the full day Cook Off final to be held in Galway Mayo Institute of Technology on Wednesday 1st of April 2020 and arrive in Galway on the 31st of March for the get together event in the evening.
  11. Teams will be drawn by the jury on the day of the selection, in January. Contact information of the teammates and content of the basket of ingredients will be given with the results of the selection.
  12. Each team will have until mid-March to work on their menu for the final and send it to the organisers. Teams can request 1 ingredient not provided in the basket (provided that the ingredient is easy enough to find in Ireland).
  13. All travel and accommodation costs of the finalist in relation to the contest will be covered by the organisers, partners and sponsors within the limit of the maximum amount given by the sponsors.
  14. The finalists needs to be accompanied by one teacher. All costs related to one teacher will be covered by the organisers and sponsors within the limit of the maximum amount given by the sponsors.
  15. Photo rights and assignment of intellectual property rights: By sending the photograph and the recipe to organisers, the participant transfers any intellectual property rights of the recipe and the photograph.
  16. Similarly, the organisers are authorised by the participant to publish the recipe and the photograph on the contest website and to reproduce it on social media platforms and in the press.
  17. The finalist and runners up prizes are non-transferable and cannot be exchanged for cash.
  18. The winning team and the two runner ups will be offered the following prices: culinary tour, diner and opportunity to do an internship in a renowned restaurant.
  19. The students and their institutions will be responsible for the organisation of the internship directly with the restaurant and the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology.
    Students will need to be accompanied by a teacher and to still retain their student status in order to do the internship (the internship needs to take place before graduation).
  20. Exclusions, restrictions and permissions: Owners, employees and family members of the organisers and entities related to the competition cannot participate in the contest.
  21. Communication about the contest: The various actions will be communicated via the Facebook page/local website, of the organisers and the media.
  22. Disputes: In the event of disputes and disagreement on the application and interpretation of these regulations, the organisers will decide on any question relating to the application of this regulation. In the absence of specific information provided for by the regulations and alternatively by country law, the applicable law will be the law of the country in which the case arises.


You can ask about the competition at this address: academic[at]ambafrance-ie.org

Ready? Steady? COOK!

Published on 14/02/2020

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