Imelda McCarron and Catherine Leydon, who are the judges of the competition
Students from 13 secondary schools across the country are set to battle it out to be crowned Ireland’s ‘Best Student Baker’ in the annual ‘CEIST All Ireland Bake-Off’, which is organised with the support of Odlums, Ireland’s favourite home-baking brand.
The aim of the ‘Bake-Off’ is to remind a new generation that baking is not just for experts – it’s for absolutely everyone! As well as being great fun, baking also offers a great way to tap into your creative and design skills by simply picking up a mixing bowl and whipping up a storm of baking creations!
The ‘CEIST All Ireland Bake-Off’ has two categories - Junior (1st – 3rd year) and Senior (4th – 6th year). Students in the Junior category have been asked to present a cake based on a theme of their choice, while students in the Senior category are required to design, bake and decorate a cake around the theme of ‘Family’.
Hundreds of submissions were received from schools right across Ireland and these have now been whittled down to the final 14 entries. The ‘CEIST All Ireland Bake-Off’ final will take place on Friday, March 8 in Ardscoil na Trionóide in Athy, Co. Kildare.
The seven junior finalists and seven senior finalists will have three hours to bake and decorate their cakes in front of judges - Odlum’s Catherine Leyden and Imelda McCarron, a contestant in the 2018 series of The Great British Bake-Off.
Catherine Leyden, Odlums’ brand ambassador and a home baking expert, is one of the competition judges and she says:
‘For four years, Odlums have been a proud supporter of this initiative and I’m delighted to be involved on their behalf. I love witnessing first-hand the truly talented student bakers we have across the country. This year, our aim is to encourage even more younger people to get baking! We want everyone to realise that baking is not just for experts – it’s for everyone! You can make something really delicious out of a few simple ingredients so I’d encourage everyone to pick up the mixing bowl and wooden spoon and get baking!”
Imelda McCarron, a contestant on The Great British Bake-Off and one of the competition judges, says:
“I was absolutely blown away by the calibre of entry we had for the ‘CEIST All Ireland Bake-Off’ this year. It was very difficult to whittle the entries down to a shortlist of 14, but we managed it. After my time on The Great British Bake-Off, I know how difficult it is to bake a cake in front of the judges. On that basis, I wish everyone the very best of luck and to remember that taking part is as important as winning!”
The 2019 Junior finalists are:
Ardscoil na Trionoide, Athy, Co. Kildare
Ardscoil Mhuire, Co. Limerick
Colaiste Muire Ennis, Co. Clare
St Joseph’s College Lucan, Co. Dublin
Presentation Secondary School Thurles, Co. Tipperary
St Marys Mallow, Co. Cork
The 2019 Senior finalists are:
Presentation College Tuam, Co. Galway
Scoil Chriost Ri Portlaoise, Co. Laois
Mean Scoil Muire Gan Smol, Co. Roscommon
St Anne’s Secondary School, Co. Tipperary
St Vincent’s Dundalk, Co. Louth
Mount Mercy College Co. Cork
St Joseph’s Secondary, Co. Clare
Originally established in Portlaoise by the Odlum family in 1845, Odlums has been an integral part of Irish baking and cooking for generations. To this day, Odlums are dedicated to developing the finest quality ingredients and products at their Mill in Portarlington. Co. Laois.
CEIST, the ‘Catholic Education, An Irish Schools' Trust’ is the Trustee body for 110 Voluntary Catholic Secondary Schools in Ireland. CEIST is a joint trusteeship comprising congregations of the Sisters of Mercy, Presentation Sisters, Daughters of Charity, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and Sisters of the Christian Retreat and has been in existence since 2007.
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