Roscommon students’ success at IFEX Belfast

Culinary arts students at TUS Athlone have swept the board at this year’s IFEX competition in Belfast for their edible art sculptures, crafted entirely from chocolate!

  Chelsea Devine, a third-year student from Elphin, Co. Roscommon, was awarded a gold medal in the IFEX ‘Decorative Exhibit’ category for creating a three-foot edible lighthouse sculpture.

  Taking creative inspiration from the works of Amaury Guichon, the host of Netflix’s School of Chocolate and the most followed ‘chocolatier’ on Instagram, Chelsea says she’s “over the moon” to have taken home the gold.

  Competing against industry professionals and culinary students from across the UK and Ireland, Chelsea spent more than 40 hours prepping for the competition and poring over the technical aspects of chocolate work and centrepiece design.

  “We started preparing our chocolate pieces in late January, brainstorming ideas between our classmates. We have spent the last few weeks doing extra hours outside of our college time with our mentor and lecturer, Kevin Ward,” she explained.

  “Kevin has pushed us to become the best version of ourselves as chefs; we would not have made it this far without him giving us the knowledge and always teaching us new techniques along the way”.

  Clohda Coyne, also a third-year  HYPERLINK “https://www.ait.ie/courses/bachelor-of-arts-in-culinary-arts” BA in Culinary Arts student at TUS Athlone, was awarded a silver medal for a chocolate sculpture of a ship’s cannon.

  Like Chelsea, her work was entered under the ‘Decorative Exhibit’ category, which tasks entrants with creating a free-standing edible art piece using either pastillage, marzipan, chocolate or cooked sugar.

  Luke Ryan, a  HYPERLINK “https://www.ait.ie/courses/AL660” Higher Certificate in Culinary Arts student at TUS Athlone, also received two awards for his creative samurai sword sculpture at the IFEX.

  Kevin Ward, a culinary arts lecturer at TUS Athlone and himself an award-winning chocolatier, congratulated the trio.

  All pieces will go on display in the Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure lobby, TUS Athlone, in the coming days.