Everyone’s favourite producers of chilled hot pots, soups, pies and desserts, Cully&Sully were in the Westbury Hotel in Dublin last night to meet some of the Irish Food Bloggers and to launch a fantastic new competition – Chef Factor.
The evening kicked off with demonstration from Ivan, often referred to as the “&” in Cully&Sully – he’s the main development chef for the company. Over copious free beers, Ivan cooked a delicious lamb dish with couscous, white turnip & multi-coloured chard served with Bearnaise sauce, while dispensing numerous chef tips along the way to the eager crowd. Once the dish was served up for us to taste, it was time for Elaine (the “.com” in cullyandsully.com, as I nicknamed her) to show off the promo videos that had been made for the competition.
Both Cully & Sully grew up around Irish food powerhouses (Ballymaloe & The Granary Store), so it was natural that they were gourmands from a young age. Their upbringing has strongly influenced their business, as the entire range of products is free from artificial colours & flavourings and also preservatives – or as Cully puts it, “The only things you’ll find in our products are the things you’ll find in your Granny’s kitchen”. Talking to them after the launch last night, it was clear that this philosophy runs to their core, as they were eager to discuss any dishes and restaurants the food bloggers could recommend.
Cully&Sully’s Chef Factor is about giving someone a once in a life time opportunity to pursue a culinary career or get involved in making their own good food. They are also hoping to raise some awareness for Cork Simon Community throughout the competition as they are approaching their 40th anniversary and now as much as ever, are in need of support.
The winner of Chef Factor will get to attend the 12-week cookery course in Ballymaloe worth €12,000 (session starting January 2011) along with receiving everything they need to become Ireland’s next great chef: the course, a uniform, a set of knives, accommodation while they train followed by 2 weeks with Cully&Sully to learn about the business and have some craic!
If you want to support someone who has entered Cully&Sully’s Cheffactor, you just have to ‘Like’ their entry to vote for them! Voting opens on the the 25th of October and only Votes on Cheffactor.ie count. They will also be giving away a number of Cully&Sully’s coveted hampers to voters at the final!
The 12-week course at Ballymaloe is highly respected and much sought after, and in their own words:
Our 12-week Certificate Course is aimed at anyone with a passionate interest in food. Some of our students use it as a springboard to becoming a professional chef (literally, hundreds of former students are now running their own restaurants or catering companies) – others to provide themselves with a marketable skill (for instance, cooking for private parties) – and a third group to maximise the pleasure they get from cooking at home. There’s no one age group (we have students who have just left school, others who are happily retired) and no particular level of experience (some are absolute beginners, others already accomplished).
So it’s time to get your thinking caps on and decide what dish you want to enter! Entering is easy, you simply have to upload a photo of YOU with your speciality dish. To garnish, put the words Cully&Sully somewhere in your snap. Then tell them a little bit about your dish and in 100 words or less why YOU deserve to be in the final!