2009 Annual home management competition

26 October 2009

Sponsored by Calor Gas and the Ulster Pork and Bacon Forum, contestants from young farmers’ clubs throughout Northern Ireland had to display practical skills and prepare and cook a starter and main course using local pork and bacon and local produce within an allocated time.

2009 Annual home management competition

The 2009 final of the YFCU’s annual home management competition took place on Monday 22nd June 2009 at the Southern Regional College, Newry. 

Sponsored by Calor Gas and the Ulster Pork and Bacon Forum, contestants from young farmers’ clubs throughout Northern Ireland had to display practical skills and prepare and cook a starter and main course using local pork and bacon and local produce within an allocated time. 

The final was the culmination of this popular competition which saw nearly 400 members enter the first stage back in November 2008. 

Finalists were given the opportunity to ask Sean Owens, development chef for the Ulster Pork and Bacon Forum, questions on the evening as he supervised their progress. Northern Ireland’s leading gas supplier Calor provided the means for the members to heat, roast or bake their culinary delights.

In the junior section the task for 2009 asked competitors to prepare a selection of finger food and then cook an omelette for the main course.  Finally, the junior members had to create a slogan for the Ulster Pork and Bacon Forum and present this with their dishes.

The finalists in the senior section were set an equally challenging task.  Each of the girls had to prepare and produce a starter and main course for two people, using exclusively local produce and include appropriate use of home produced pork or bacon and again Calor gas was the fuel of choice use to cook their dishes.  The competitors also had to present a handmade menu card for their dishes prepared during the competition.
 

An invited audience had the opportunity to watch the competitors at work via a live link up with the kitchen and also to watch a butchery demonstration by Steven Dobson from Dunbia.

When the cooking time was up, chef Sean Owens deliberated over the entrants’ dishes to determine the results and spoke to the invited audience.  Sean remarked that this year’s entrants were of a higher standard than ever seen before and shows that the popularity of this competition continues to grow year on year.

After some careful consideration the results were handed over to YFCU President Thoburn McCaughey who delivered these to the anxious competitors. 

In the junior section the top place went to Sharon Arthur, Kilrea YFC, second place was awarded to Hannah Wright, Newtownards YFC and third place went to Chloe McKeown, Holestone YFC. 

In the senior section the top place and the Linda Currie Gallery Tray went to Sarah Thompson, Randalstown YFC; second place was awarded to Laura Hazlett, Dungiven YFC and third place went to Barbara Fitzsimons, Spa YFC.  Gemma Weir, Randalstown YFC and Wendy Ward, Hillsborough YFC also received a proficiency certificate for participation.
 

In drawing the evening to a close, YFCU President Thoburn McCaughey extended a note of sincere appreciation to Calor and the Ulster Pork and Bacon forum for their continued support of the event.  He also thanked Sean Owens for all his help and dedication over the years to the YFCU home management competition.  A further note of thanks was extended to Steven Dobson and Karen Birnie from Dunbia for the butchery demonstration and to the staff at Southern Regional College, especially Karen Cosgrave and Evelyn McBurney for their help and support throughout the evening.