Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year competition 2019
Continuing the competitive journey that began for these young talents in July, the Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year 2019 competition presented by principal partners La Rousse Foods announced that eight chefs will continue on to the grand final in November.
Instead of the usual six finalists, this year the judges selected eight chefs to progress to the final due to the exceptional talent on display at the semi-final stage. Chef judges Jordan Bailey of Aimsir restaurant, Shauna Froydenlund from Marcus at The Berkeley, Anna Haugh of Myrtle restaurant and Gareth Mullins of The Marker Hotel chose the eight young talents following a skills test semi-final held on Sunday August 11th, in the professional kitchens of Dublin Cookery School in Blackrock.
The eight chefs selected to go through to the final round of Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year 2019 are James Dobson (Potager), Attila Galambos (Aniar), Daniel Hannigan (Mr S.,soon to open), Karan Mittal (Ananda), Grainne Mullins (Lignum, soon to open), Gareth O’Brien (Bastible), Matthew Stafford (The Greenhouse) and Alison Tierney (Dax).
The Semi Final
During the course of the semi-final, the 14 participating young chefs were set two separate tasks — the first a skills test of following a recipe written by guest chef judge Shauna Froydenlund and the second of creating a dish based on a mystery basket of produce selected by the judging committee.
The 14 amazingly talented semifinalists come from a cross-section of great restaurants from all over the country, making the competition extremely tough this year. Their tasks were to make a classic sabayon finished with whipped cream, strictly following the provided recipe, for which they were allocated a half hour, followed by a 90-minute task of producing a dish using main mystery ingredients, which this year were monkfish and cockles.
The task involved creating a dish based on these two principal ingredients — a surprise to the contestants on the day — added to by other elements they selected themselves from the Pantry by La Rousse Foods, a selection that includes many award-winning Irish producers but also a well-stocked Asian and exotic ingredients section, to allow entrants of different backgrounds to fully express their creativity.
With Domini Kemp running the kitchen, the young chefs worked hard to fulfill these two challenges, a test of all the skills essential in a kitchen including knife skills, palate, creativity, ability to plate, cooking, seasoning, technique, understanding of raw ingredients and ability to read a recipe. Then the 14 young hopefuls were marked on their execution and work practice, the taste and flavour of their various dishes, and presentation, with the skills set counting for 25% of the total and the mystery basket test for 75% of the total score.
The eight 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 21st and 22nd.
They will also have the opportunity to experience a series of educational events lined up before the grand final in November, including a surprise trip abroad, a hands-on visit with suppliers and producers in Ireland and an exclusive collaboration with a leading chef as part of the development program with La Rousse Foods.
The final will be held in the professional kitchens of Dublin Cookery School in Blackrock on November 10th with final guest chef judges including Michel Roux Jnr., Paul Flynn, Margot Janse and Gareth Mullins.
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 talent, open to professional chefs under the age of 26. The young chef finalists in this year’s Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year 2019 are 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. 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.