Search is on for the Kenwood Young Baker 2021 winner

Food File: Win a trip to Spain, change career and become a butcher, and the secret to delicious salad dressings

The Kenwood Young Baker 2021 competition is now open to secondary students, who could win an appliance kit for their Home Economics classroom and a stand mixer for themselves.

There are two categories, Junior (for first to third year students), and Senior (fourth to sixth years), and last year more than 800 keen young bakers entered the competition. There will be an overall winner and two runners up in each category

The theme this year is "dreams", and the task is to bake a single tier cake that reflects the entrant's interpretation of the theme. The online entry form at requires entrants to submit their recipe, six photographs of the cake, and describe the inspiration behind their creation. Entries close on October 18th.

The competition will be judged by Irish Times Magazine columnist Aoife Noonan and pastry chef and food writer Shane Smith, along with Michelle McCabe, president of the Association of Teachers of Home Economics.


4 Hands Food Studio

There's a glass bottle in my fridge that stops me in my tracks every time I open the door. It contains a clear liquid in a beautiful pink hue and it makes the most delicious salad dressings imaginable. The raw apple and elderberry vinegar is made by Rose Greene and Margaux Dejardin of the 4 Hands Food Studio in Rathaspic, near Mullingar.

It is part of a small range of products they make, including several seasonal varieties of kombucha and probiotic carrot and turmeric juice, raw apple vinegar and fermented chilli jam. “We work with what produce we have and what we can get locally,” Greene says.

They also have a small range of wholefood products. “Alongside our ferments, we make our seasonal hummus using sprouted peas (hopefully Irish grown this year). We always have our regular sprouted pea hummus, adding seasonal variations depending on what local organic veg are available. The sprouting process is a great step in opening up nutrition and flavour within the protein-rich pulses.”

The 4 Hands Food Studio products are available from selected food stores including Marlowe and Co, Dublin 8, Lennox Street Grocer, Portobello, Dublin 8; Barrow Market, Dublin 4; Mamo Restaurant, Howth, Co Dublin; Margadh Specialty Shop, Howth, Co Dublin; The Dublin Food Co-Op, Kilmainham, Dublin 8; Fruitique, Dublin 2; Foxes Fruit and Veg, and Nuts and Grains, Mullingar, Westmeath; Lowe and Co, Athlone, Co Westmeath and Hereford and More, Tullamore, Co Offaly.

Win a trip to Spain

Irish Times Magazine columnist JP McMahon has been appointed brand ambassador for Don Carlos Spanish olive oil, which he has been using in his Cava tapas restaurant in Galway for more than 12 years.

The brand has also hired Spanish graffiti artists Harry Bones and Musa71 to create a limited edition design for the labels on its bottles, and is offering consumers a chance to win a prize worth €5,000. This includes a trip for two to Spain to experience the country's street art and food, a professional-standard camera, a personal private cookery class with JP McMahon, and an opportunity to work with the brand to create new recipes.

To enter, create a Spanish recipe using the Don Carlos Limited Edition Olive Oil and upload a photograph to Instagram, tagging @doncarlos_ie. The competition closes on Thursday, September 30th.

Butchering apprenticeship

James Whelan Butchers has opened up a three-year apprenticeship scheme through its JWB Butchers Academy, offering a chance to learn a skill while also earning a wage. The programme combines on the job training with structured Fetac/QQI Level 5 training and qualifications.

Pat Whelan, chief executive of James Whelan Butchers, said: "Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have seen a large amount of people using the enforced downtime to re-think their career choice and looking for more fulfilling and secure career paths in these uncertain times.

Within our Butchers Academy at present there are students from a wide range of backgrounds, for example from hospitality and engineering, changing their career path.”

Graduates will take up positions within James Whelan Butchers across the business's retail shops around the country. See, or email