20th Euro-toques Young Chef Competition Launched

Press release
14th September 2010

 Launching the 20th Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year Competition
Much loved Irish chef, Neven Maguire seeks Ireland’s next top Chef

Renowned Irish chef Neven Maguire launched this year’s Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year competition in Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud Dublin today (Tuesday 14th September) – Chef Patron of MacNean House, Neven is a former Euro-toques Young Chef winner in 1994 and a judge in this year’s competition.

Euro-Toques chefs and cooks are committed to a philosophy of quality food sourcing, with an emphasis on seasonal, local and artisan ingredients. They aim to keep the art of real cooking and culinary traditions alive, promoting respect for classical skills combined with modern industry techniques amongst chefs. All of these principles play a part in the Euro-toques Young Chef competition, which is open to young chefs across the island of Ireland and aims to foster and mentor young talent from professional kitchens throughout country. This year’s competition is supported by Bord Bia, Failte Ireland, La Rousse Foods and Findlater Wine & Spirits Group.

The competition is open to chefs working in industry who are under the age of 25 and is a wonderful chance for budding young professionals to gain valuable skills and experience, with the prize package centering on mentoring and career development opportunities. Failte Ireland will host a 4 day study visit for all five finalists next Spring to the world renowned L’Ecole Gregoire Ferrandi Culinary School in Paris, while the winner will stay on in France for a week-long stage of discovery with the boutique Chocolaterie de L’Opera, sponsored by La Rousse Foods. The top prize for the 2010 Young Chef of the Year will be the opportunity of an all-expenses paid stage in London at renowned 2 Michelin star restaurant The Ledbury, under young Australian head chef Brett Graham. The role of the mentor chef is essential in this competition, and the senior chef who nominates the eventual winner, will be treated to a trip to London for a tasting menu at The Ledbury.

Speaking at the launch on behalf of Euro-toques Ireland, Neven Maguire said “Winning the Euro-toques Young Chef competition was one of the greatest experiences I have had since I began cooking. It was such a wonderful opportunity for me at that young age to go abroad and work in a top Michelin-starred restaurant and it really was a decisive moment in my career. I look back at the whole thing with such fond memories. So it really is a great privilege for me now to be involved as a judge in the competition. The Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year is all about the future of our kitchens and our industry, it’s about fostering talent and mentoring these young chefs to reach their fullest potential…something which is central to the philosophy of Euro-toques and to my own”. Maguire will also offer a stage at MacNean House for the winning chef.

Candidates for this prestigious competition must submit a written entry, from which they are shortlisted for interview. Five finalists will be selected to take part in a cook-off where they will be judged by some of Ireland’s top chefs along with guest chef Brett Graham of 2 star Michelin restaurant The Ledbury in London. Finally the 5 young finalists will have the chance to work with chef Guillaume LeBrun of Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud in preparing a 5 course Gala Lunch for industry and media guests, before the overall winner is announced. Closing date for entry is 11th October 2010.

Euro-toques are delighted to have the support of four committed partners in this year’s competition who each have distinct roles. La Rousse Foods, who work closely with Euro-toques on their Chef Development programme of workshops for student and industry chefs, are the official supplier to the Euro-toques Young Chef competition. Bord Bia work in partnership with Euro-toques to promote local food sourcing and the Just Ask initiative. The competition will promote this concept and put Irish lamb, a quality natural Irish product, at the centre of the competition theme. As Food Tourism partners, Failte Ireland also support the promotion of local and regional character within dishes, and their involvement in the competition is also based on their industry training role.  Euro-toques is eager to encourage a rounded holistic approach from chefs, and this is where the important task of food and wine pairing comes in, supported by competition wine partners Findlater Wine & Spirit Group.

Entry forms and further competition details are now available from www.euro-toques.ie This year’s competition theme will emphasise value for money and ‘nose-to-tail cooking’, a concept which will also be promoted through a series of workshops to be run by Euro-toques and La Rousse Foods in Catering colleges nationwide from late September.

To register your interest and have the entry form sent directly to you or one of your junior chefs, please go towww.euro-toques.ie/youngchef, email info@euro-toques.ie or call 01 6779995.


For more information please contact:

Valda Boardman PR / 01 299 9090 / 086 233 0083 / valda@vbpr.ie

About Euro-toques:

Euro-toques, The European Community of Cooks, was established in 1986 in Brussels as a guardian of European culinary heritage,  as a lobby group addressing the concerns of Europe’s top chefs and cooks about food quality and the future of food, and as a network of like-minded chefs. Euro-toques Ireland was founded by Myrtle Allen of Ballymaloe House the same year and now has almost 200 member cooks/chefs including Derry Clarke of L’Ecrivain, Ross Lewis of Chapter One, Guillaume Le Brun of Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, Kevin Dundon of Dunbrody House, Paul Flynn of the Tannery and Neven Maguire of MacNean House.

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