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Catching up with Joseph Roche, Musgraves Developing Chef and previous winner of the DIT Manor Farm Cooking Competition!

Meet Joseph Roche – Business Development Chef with Musgrave Marketplace and winner of the Manor Farm DIT Cooking Competition in 2017.
2 minute read

Throwing it back to 2017 …

In the food industry we always talk about supporting Irish and committing to building a better and more sustainable future. For an economically sustainable future we need to give back to the students, the future leaders and nurture the passion for the food sector with support and guidance.

One way Manor Farm tries to give back to the industry and to support its rising stars is through our yearly Cooking Competition held in DIT. We caught up with Joseph Roche , a previous competition winner to convey how these efforts played out in real life and what impact they had on building a solid foundation for his career.


Talk us through the day of the competition Joseph …

During my final year of college in the now TU Dublin I sought to put my skills to the test. Manor Farm were offering €1000 to a student whom could create a dish that a mother could cook in under 20 minutes from start to finish, of course using chicken. I fancied my chances, I entered with a very simple pan fried sweet paprika chicken thigh (the lesser used cut and all that), crispy and flavourful, dressed on a plate with a fresh zingy salad of greens and fennel and a dill yogurt sauce. It was simple fast and delivered on flavour, I brought home the goods bagging 1st prize.

What was your next move after your degree and what did you do with your winnings?

Musgrave Wholesale Partners later offered me a six month internship based the the head office in Dublin. Manor Farm along with my future employer heavily invest in assisting TU Dublin in its endeavours to educate the future food leaders of Ireland. I used my winnings to move to Dublin, I needed cash for deposits and rent. Without these winnings It would not have been possible for me to accept an internship with Musgrave. This truly demonstrates how effective investment in the future of the Irish food sector students can benefit the foundation of their career. I later accepted a full time position as development chef within The Food Theatre team.

As a well educated and trained industry chef, what is your opinion on Manor Farm chicken now?

I always knew Manor Farm produced quality product for the Irish retail and foodservice market. The customer more than ever is seeking quality Irish produce. Serving Irish chicken will increase the provenance and perception of your brand. Mixing Irish thigh meat with breast can deliver a competitive finished product compared with imported chicken. Educating the customer on the lesser used cuts thus moving away from breast means you can maintain a healthy margin whilst increasing your finished product with Manor farm Irish chicken.