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Appetite for Knowledge

Appetite for Knowledge is a Science Communications Competition and we invite Senior Cycle Teams from Secondary Schools to participate!


On Thursday 10th November 2022, the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences are running Appetite for Knowledge, a science communications competition for secondary schools.

Funded by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme and sponsored by Dairygold Health and Nutrition the event will be hosted in UCC’s historic Aula Maxima.  This competition has been specifically designed to engage transition year and other senior cycle students in Irish secondary schools.

This outreach initiative will support the core science curriculum by broadening young people’s exposure to food, nutritional and agricultural sciences, providing students with the opportunity for interactive, inquiry-based learning alongside their peers.

The core idea will be for student teams to make short presentations on their chosen topic within these fields, with judging for prizes for the best presentation.

“As one of the largest Dairy Cooperatives in Ireland with strong community ties within the Munster region, Dairygold Health & Nutrition are delighted to sponsor the Appetite for Knowledge program in conjunction with UCC, promoting exposure to education and career opportunities within the food, nutritional and agricultural sciences sectors” George MacLeod, General Manager, Dairygold Health and Nutrition 




The Judges


Chris Braganza  RTÉ Player’s “Battle of the Food Trucks”


Christopher Braganza who runs the Spice Genie food truck from his Cork base was selected as last year’s winner of Battle of the Food Trucks.  Christopher is originally from India and moved to Ireland in 2012. He makes home-cooked authentic Indian food.

Like many of the excellent food trucks that can be found around the country as a result of the Covid19 pandemic, Spice Genie was born out of necessity. However, Chris's passion for food began at an early age. 

The youngest of four siblings born in the beautiful coastal city of Margao, Goa, he grew up amongst buffalo and fruiting trees on his parents' land. In his mother's kitchen, he learned how to grind spices, pickle limes and Chris clearly recalls taking lessons from his aunt on how to cook the perfect Biryani - one of his favourite Indian dishes.

After completing his studies in Hyderabad, Chris took off around the world from within the kitchens of cruise ships as a pastry chef and honed his technique, experimenting with temperature and timing to get the fullest flavour from his food.

In 2012, he settled in Midleton, County Cork, where his brother was already working as a nurse. The following decade saw Chris gaining valuable experience under chefs such Kevin Burke from Castlemartyr Resort, Martin Kajuiter, and Kwanghi Chan from the Cliff House Hotel.

In Spring 2022, Chris entered and won the Battle of the Food Trucks on RTE. This was followed by a summer of hard work and exciting opportunities. For the moment, Chris is continuing to build his business, bringing his unique take on Indian cuisine to the people of Ireland.


George MacLeod General Manager of Dairygold Health & Nutrition

George MacLeod is the General Manager of Dairygold Health & Nutrition.  This was a  business unit created 2 years ago to drive growth and margin opportunities for Dairygold Cooperative Ltd. George has extensive knowledge of the dairy, food and beverage industries with over 30 years technical and development experience gained within the UK and Irish markets and extensively within the Middle East region combined with a unique breadth of skills covering technical, product development and innovation management along with commercial, sales and business development industry roles.

Dr. Majella O'KeeffeDr Majella O’Keeffe

Dr Majella O’Keeffe is the Programme Director & Senior Lecturer MSc Human Nutrition & Dietetic UCC.  She is also a graduate of the BSc in nutritional science at UCC.  She completed her PhD at Cardiff University before moving to New York where she joined Columbia University, New York Obesity and Nutrition Research Centre as a research fellow.  On completion of her post-doctoral training, she moved to London where she graduated, first in class, with a postgraduate diploma in Dietetics from King’s College London and was a recipient of the Van Der Bergh prize.  She has worked as a clinical research dietitian at Barts NHS Foundation Trust and Queen Mary of London in the area of maternal obesity.  In 2014, she re-joined King’s College London as a post-doctoral research dietitian working in the area of gastrointestinal health before obtaining a lectureship in nutrition and dietetics where she taught across multiple programmes including the BSc and MSc in Dietetics at King’s.  In 2020, she returned to Ireland as a lecturer in the School of Public Health at UCC before being appointed as senior lecturer in the School of Food and Nutritional Science at UCC where she leads on the MSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics.


Key Dates


Date       Activity
September 01 Registration portal opens
September 22 Registration closes
November  07 Completed presentations emailed to UCC
November 10  Presentation of projects in UCC's Aula Maxima





School of Food and Nutritional Sciences

School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Room 240 Food Science Building, University College, Cork