21st Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year – OPEN FOR ENTRIES

Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year 2011 Opens for Entries

A Coming of Age : 21 Chefs Celebrate 21 Years of Culinary Excellence

Ireland’s most prestigious culinary competition, Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year, is celebrating 21 years of culinary talent in Ireland.  Announcing details of this years competition, 21 professional chefs celebrate 21 years at the launch photocall at The Merrion Hotel Dublin, today, Tuesday 20 September 2011.

Sponsored by BIM and Failte Ireland this year, The Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year is open to professional chefs & cooks across the island of Ireland, under 25 years of age, and is the only professional culinary competition in the country based around local and artisan food ingredients. Through mentoring and training based prizes the competition aims to contribute to the professional development of promising young industry professionals.

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.  The 2011 Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year 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.

This years sponsors are BIM and Failte Ireland and their involvement reflects their recognition of the importance of chefs in building Ireland’s national and international food reputation, the pivotal role that ‘local food’ plays in this and, above all, their commitment to education and development in this sector.  Industry partners include The Ivy London, La Rousse Foods and Findlater Wine & Spirits Group.

Speaking at this years launch Gearoid Lynch, Chef/Proprietor of the Olde Post Inn Co. Cavan and current head of Euro-toques Ireland comments: “I myself am a past winner of Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year (2000) and being involved in the competition was fantastic for my career and getting my profile recognised but most importantly it gave me the chance to interact with, and cook for, some of the top people in the industry and to learn from them. The competition and prizes put a big emphasis on education and development, so reaching the final in the competition means a chance to really progress and hone your skills. It is an amazing opportunity for any ambitious and hard-working young chef”.

The role of the industry mentor is vital to this competition and industry chefs are asked to put forward promising young chefs in their kitchens, or who have worked for them in the past.  These industry mentors must commit to assisting their candidate in training for the competition, should they reach the final.

“The staffing in our industry is now at crisis point”, says Euro-toques Secretary-General Ruth Hegarty, “Even the top kitchens in the country can’t get chefs. We hope that this competition can show potential chefs and cooks the level that can be reached if you are motivated and passionate about cooking.  Traditionally chefs trained through apprenticeship and learned from industry masters. It is vital that this role continues in tandem with formal education. That is why we encourage and emphasise mentoring in the competition”.

Candidates for this prestigious competition must submit a written entry, incorporating Dublin Bay Prawns as a central ingredient, from which they are shortlisted for interview. Five finalists will be selected to take part in a culinary skills test where they will be judged by some of Ireland’s top chefs. The 5 young finalists will have the chance to work with Executive Chef Ed Cooney in the Merrion Hotel in preparing one course each, for the Gala Lunch for industry and media guests, before the overall winner is announced. Closing date for entry is 12 October 2011.

2011 Young Chef of the Year …2/

Among the overall prizes, each of the finalists will win a uniques food experience with BIM and Failte Ireland.BIM will host a one day practical on-site introduction to the complex world of the seafood industry, visiting a seafood facility and discussing how fish is caught or harvested, bought, and sold, and what this all means to a chef. Including meetings with key industry personnel, processors and industry chef.  Failte Ireland will host a Food Tourism road trip – an educational 4 day food focused road trip taking in ‘hands-on’ cooking time  in top professional kitchens, visits to artisan food producers;  tastings, demos, unique meal experiences  and overnight stays with exemplary Irish food and hospitality operators.

The top prize for the 2011 Young Chef of the Year will be the opportunity of an all-expenses paid stage at the famous Ivy Restaurant in London under Executive Chef Gary Lee. Plus a one week stage at the award winning Michelin star Chapter One restaurant in Dublin under the tutelage of Euro-toques head chef Ross Lewis.

Entry forms and full details will be available on the Euro-toques website www.euro-toques.ie  /youngchef.php

—ends—

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.  More at http://www.euro-toques.ie

The Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year has been running since 1990 and is judged by some of Ireland’s top industry chefs, as well as a guest chef from overseas.

 

Key Dates:

20 September   Competition Opens for Entries

12 October        Closing Date for Entries

24 October        Interviews

27 November    Culinary Skills Test Final

28 November    Gala Presentation Lunch

 

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