• Cyril McAree

Euro-Toques Young Chef Of The Year 2018 Continues As The Final Six Are Announced

Continuing the competitive journey that began for these young talents in August, the Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year competition presented by La Rousse Foods today announced the six chefs that will continue on to the final in November.

Following a skills test held yesterday, Monday September 3rd, in the professional kitchens of Dublin Cookery School in Blackrock, chef judges Kevin Thornton, Gareth Mullins and Wade Murphy along with special guest judge Tom Brown of Cornerstone in Hackney, one of London’s most exciting and interesting rising star chefs, selected the six young talents that will now progress on to the next stage of the competitive adventure.

The young chefs were set the task of creating a dish based on whole turbot, along with pommes mousseline (with no recipe supplied), with a beurre blanc made to a specific recipe, plus their choice of vegetable garnish. With Domini Kemp running the kitchen, the young chefs had two hours to produce two plates of each dish, with the turbot kindly supplied by Kish Fish and crockery by Hugh Jordan. Demonstrating skills in prepping fish, filleting or cooking it on the bone, the young hopefuls were marked on their execution and work practice, the taste and flavour of their various dishes, and presentation, with each category marked out of ten.

The six chefs selected to go through to the final round of Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year 2018 are Attila Galambos mentored by JP McMahon of Aniar, Jack Lenards mentored by Ahmet Dede of Mews, Jason Nolan mentored by Robert McCauley of Gregan’s Castle, Matthew Stafford currently mentored by Kevin Aherne of Sage, Glen Sutcliffe mentored by Eric Matthews of Chapter One and Michael Morrisroe mentored by James Kavanagh of The Strawberry Tree.

These six young chefs, each currently working in some of the country’s most exciting and sophisticated kitchens and being mentored by individual chefs with unique skill sets and talents, now have a series of educational events lined up before the grand final in November. These will include events in collaboration with principal partner La Rousse Foods, and supporting partner San Pellegrino. Next on the agenda is a workshop with Cúán Greene, currently a chef at multi-award winning Noma in Copenhagen, in the test kitchens at Kitchen Aid HQ, new supporting partner of the Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year competition.

The six finalists will also experience hands-on visits with suppliers and producers based around a trip to Ballymaloe House, home of Myrtle Allen, founder member of Euro-Toques International, who passed away this year.

The Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year competition presented by La Rousse Foods is Ireland’s premier culinary competition celebrating Ireland’s best emerging culinary talent. Open to professional chefs under the age of 26, the competition has a proven track record in discovering the finest young talent with former winners including Mark Moriarty who progressed to win the World San Pellegrino Young Chef Competition in 2015.

The 6 selected finalists in the Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year competition presented by La Rousse Foods will all participate in the two-day chefs’ conference Food On The Edge in Galway on October 22nd and 23rd. For all the young chefs taking part this contest is a unique experience that will provide recognition throughout Ireland and beyond, and act as a prestigious stepping-stone in their culinary career.

Manuela Spinelli, Secretary General of Euro-toques Ireland said: “The six talented young chefs in this year’s Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year 2018 have been chosen for their enthusiasm, talent and eagerness to learn and I am once again so happy to see such a high level of skill and technique coming through in this exciting competition which is designed to nurture that talent. At Euro-Toques we are so grateful to our sponsors and to the judges, producers and hosts who give so generously of their time and expertise in helping this process be the best it can be. It will be an excellent final competition again this year - good luck to all six of the finalists, and may the best young chef win!”

Gareth Mullins, Euro-toques Ireland judge at the semi-finals said: "The mystery basket was a real test of the young chefs’ basic skills, including their knife skills, their palate, their creativity and ability to plate. This stage of the competition was about their cooking skills, technique, seasoning and understanding of raw ingredients. It’s so refreshing to see the passion and commitment of these young chefs and I hope that they make the most of the next stage of their journey."

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