Pop-in to our Pop-up – and meet the Young Chef 2012 Finalists

Finally, phew, we can announce who are 5 finalists are in the 2012 Young Chef of the Year. It’s been hard keeping it to ourselves since Monday evening. And we are so excited to have such an amazing bunch of Young Chefs.

Monday really was an incredible day. We were totally blown away by the passion, commitment, and intelligence of the 15 chefs we met. It was clear that the vast majority of them would give body and soul to this industry and to their love of food and cooking. The future of Irish cooking is in good hands.

But sadly we had to say goodbye to 10 – and continue the journey with only 5.

Find out who they are and how you could meet them – and more importantly – taste their food, below.


Tweet #freefeast to be in with a chance to be there

5 chefs – 5 producers – 50 miles

Young Chef of the Year Finalists to cook for Dublin City at

 special public pop-up event

The 2012 Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year competition is spilling over into the heart of Dublin city next Tuesday October 30th. On this day, the 5 selected finalists in Ireland’s most distinguished culinary competition will open the doors of Cooks Academy, South William Street, Dublin, between 1.30pm and 3.00pm and cook some delightful bites for the general public to sample free of charge.

There will be a limited number of spaces available, which will be given away via Twitter this Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Follow @eurotoquesirl and Tweet them including hashtag #freefeast – and you will get a tweet to confirm your place.

The 5 finalists for the 2012 Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year are:

  • Ciaran Elliott, Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, Dublin
  • Jack O’Keeffe, Springfort Hall, Mallow
  • John O’Connor, The Malton, Killarney
  • Keelan Higgs, Locks Brasserie, Dublin
  • Mark Moriarty, The Greenhouse, Dublin

Each will be set-up at a separate workstation where you can see them create taster dishes that celebrate Samhain (Ireland’s Harvest festival) by using local & seasonal foods. Each dish will highlight one producer from the finalists local area with all the main ingredients being sourced within a 50 mile radius of where they are based. The dish will represent the finalists take on the best of Irish cooking today.

Commenting about the event Gearoid Lynch, President Euro-Toques Ireland and Young Chef 2000 said, “In this year’s Young Chef of the Year competition we are really putting the finalists out there and looking at how they interact with people and get across their passion for food and Irish ingredients. But in the end, it is all about their cooking talent and ability to learn. We are looking forward to seeing the finalists overall development in the next month before the winner is announced on November 25th. This is the first time we have given the public the opportunity to meet the Young Chefs and sample their food. We are really excited about these two events, which will truly showcase the future of Irish cooking and we hope people will be interested in coming along.”

In association with Failte Ireland, the competition aims to search for Ireland’s Young Food Heroes that can contribute to developing Irish cooking and promoting it at home and abroad. The final of the Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year will take place on November 25th and the winner will be revealed at an exclusive mystery event that evening.  Members of the public will have the chance to win tickets to both events by keeping up with the competition online at www.youngchef.ie or via Facebook and Twitter.

Judges for the final will include Dublin born guest chef Trevor Moran, Sous Chef at Restaurant Noma, Copenhagen that holds two Michelin stars and was voted best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine for 3 years running (2010, 2011, 2012). The Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year will win an all -expenses paid stage in a top international restaurant, amongst other exciting opportunities.


For further information please contact:

Grace O’Reilly

Insight Consultants

086 1968831 /  grace@insightconsultants.ie

Notes to Editor:


To keep up to date:

FB:       Euro-Toques Ireland

Twitter: @eurotoquesirl


Watch the promo video:


Watch Young Chef 2011 winner Kamil  Dubanik’s journey here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ocXdhFK0dM&feature=g-upl

General info:

About Euro-Toques:

Euro-toques – the European Community of Chefs – was established in Brussels in 1986 by a group of the top chefs in Europe. Their purpose was to form a network of chefs committed to quality local food sourcing and to be a voice for the industry to protect Europe’s traditional foods and culinary heritage.

Myrtle Allen of Ballymaloe House was one of the founding members and went on to found Euro-toques Ireland the same year. Euro-toques Ireland lobbies on a variety of food policy issues and is heavily involved in education, focusing on food education for children and skills training for chefs, in addition to organising food-related events and activities for both industry and the public.

Well-known Euro-Toques Ireland members include Paul Flynn, Martin Shanahan, Darina Allen, Rachel Allen, Kevin Thornton, Ross Lewis, Derry Clarke


Young Chef 2012 – LAST FIFTEEN

Who will be next?
Which of the final 15 could end up on the other side of the camera in 2013?

Yesterday afternoon fifteen aspiring young Irish Cooking heroes got the word that they had made it to the last 15 in this year’s Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year. Unfortunately, 15 others who had made it to Stage 2 discovered they had not made the cut.

We had unprecedented interest in the competition this year (no doubt encouraged by our fab online videos by the guys in Nomos Productions and starring 2011 Young Chef of the Year Kamil Dubanik. Check them out if you haven’t yet http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FufY7dkf2PA&feature=g-upl ).

We had some fantastic social media entries in the first stage, with candidates making videos, photographing their food and setting up blogs to show us what they would do as Ireland’s young food hero. We were blown away by the effort some people put in. Those who made it to stage 2 were asked to submit a recipe reflecting their take on Irish Cooking. The results were interesting; one thing is clear – young chefs certainly keep up to date on the latest culinary trends and kitchen technologies. But much more important for us, most candidates recognised the importance of local and seasonal sourcing and used their recipes to celebrate the fantastic produce to be found on their doorstep.

We are extremely grateful to the 3 judges who marked the Stage 2 recipe entries. Recipes are send to the judges in a standardised format and marked anonymously with all references to the chef’s name and restaurant removed. The stage 2 judges were: Stephen Gibson, Pichet Restaurant; Domini Kemp, ITSA & Feast catering; and Euro-Toques founding chef Gerry Galvin from Galway.

It was no easy task to whittle the numbers down by half for the 3rd stage. But it had to be done. So here are the final fifteen (drumroll….):

Aisling Gallagher                  Ballynahinch Castle, Galway

Ciaran Elliot                           Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, Dublin

Colin McKee                          Harvey’s Point, Donegal

Colin Green                           MacNean House, Cavan

Garry O’Malley                      Knockranny House, Mayo

Grainne O’Keefe                   Pichet Restaurant, Dublin

Jack O’Keefe                         Springfort Hotel, Cork

John O’Connor                     The Malton, Kerry

Karina Quinlan                      Chapter Forty, Kerry

Keelan Higgs                        Locks Brasserie, Dublin

Kieran McComiskey              O’Gradys on the Pier, Galway

Leo Sayping                          Wineport Lodge, Westmeath

Mark Moriarty                        The Greenhouse, Dublin

Richard Borne                       Town Bar & Grill, Dublin

Sam Mulholland                    Renvyle House, Galway

Next Monday, these 15 chefs will come to Dublin to be interviewed by: Gearoid Lynch, President of Euro-Toques and Chef/Proprietor of the Olde Post Inn, Co. Cavan, Wade Murphy, Executive Chef at the 5 star Lodge at Doonbeg in Co. Clare and John Mulcahy, Head of Food Tourism, Hospitality Education & Standards at Failte Ireland.

Only 5 will be selected to take part in the Culinary Skills Test final on November 25th.

These 5 finalists will be announced at a very special pop-up event in Dublin city centre on Tuesday 30th of October – and we will be giving a very limited number of places to members of the public to join the media in meeting the 5 chefs and tasting their food.

You need to be following us on Twitter to be in with a chance, so what are you waiting for?

Follow https://twitter.com/EurotoquesIrl

AND https://twitter.com/YoungChef2012

And while you are at it, ‘Like’ us on Facebook


Best of luck to all on Monday. Looking forward to meeting you.

Will keep you posted on progress!!

The Strawberry Tree Restaurant, BrookLodge Awarded Bord Bia’s Just Ask! Restaurant of the Month, October 2012


1st October, 2012:  The Strawberry Tree, BrookLodge Hotel, Macreddin, Co Wicklow has been awarded Bord Bia’s Just Ask! Restaurant of the Month for October as a result of its commitment to sourcing ingredients locally.  As Ireland’s only certified organic restaurant, its menus are dictated by the availability of mainly local ingredients in their natural season. The underlying philosophy is all about paying homage to the producers of their foods. 

Proprietor Evan Doyle’s genuine and deeply-rooted passion for supporting local suppliers and showcasing organic and wild foods in season goes back decades, to his original Strawberry Tree Restaurant in Killarney which was established on that basis. The menu is simple, allowing for the personal introduction of the food and suppliers.

Evan Doyle said, “A menu is only as good as its ingredients and the main ingredient at the Strawberry Tree is our suppliers. We include a full listing of all of our organic producers on the menu, each of whom takes tremendous pride in their trade of supplying world class produce to our restaurant”.  

Organic beef, lamb and pork is supplied by The Good Herdsman, Co Tipperary; Mark Winterbotham, Co Wicklow and Alan Pierce, Co. Wicklow and Organic Chickens from Margaret McDonnell in Co Kildare.  Organic and wild fish are sourced out of Wicklow harbour, Dunmore East harbour and Clare Island.  The Farms of Denis Healy and Golden River, Co. Wicklow supply organic fruit and vegetables and organic flowers and herbs are grown in the Macreddin Herb Garden.  Organic dairy products are supplied by Ralph Haslam of Mossfield Farm, Co. Offaly; Oisin Farmhouse, Co. Limerick; St Tola, Co. Clare and Butlers organic Farm Eggs, Co. Carlow.

*Georgina Campbell said, “The team at The Strawberry Tree share Evan’s passion for the particular when it comes to menu development, growing foods and foraging in the locality, cooking it simply, but stylishly and serving it with pride.”

Just Ask! is a Bord Bia campaign which aims to encourage consumers to look for information on where their food comes from when eating out and encourages chef’s to provide the information on their menus. According to recent research from Bord Bia, 81% of Irish diners believe it’s important that restaurants use local produce with 72% deeming it important that the origin of meat is listed on the menu.

*As part of Bord Bia’s Just Ask! programme, restaurants listed on Georgina Campbell’s ireland-guide.com website are invited to submit copies of their menus and sourcing statements.  On a monthly basis, a Just Ask! winner is chosen by Georgina Campbell in agreement with Bord Bia. In addition, an overall Just Ask! annual award winner is selected as part of the Georgina Campbell Awards which take place during October.

To get involved in Just Ask! or to find out more, see www.bordbia.ie. With so many great value restaurants right on your doorstep, eating out is still on the menu!

For more information on The Strawberry Tree visit http://www.brooklodge.com/foodanddrink/strawberrytree.asp


For further information contact:

Gemma Gilligan, FTI Consulting, 01-6633612 / 087-9156639

Aoife Kelly, FTI Consulting, 01-6633630 / 086-8167085