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Euro-Toques announces finalists For Young Chef of the Year 2019

The prestigious competition has revealed the name of the eight young talents who will take part in the final in November.

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The prestigious competition has revealed the name of the eight young talents who will take part in the final of the Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year 2019 in November.


After a tough semi-final on August 11th, which saw some of Ireland's most promising young chefs compete in the Dublin Cookery School in Blackrock, Dublin, the names of the eight talents who will continue on to the grand final of the Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year 2019 have just been announced.

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 selected eight chefs to progress to the final, instead of the usual six.

The judges
The judges

The eight chefs selected to go through to the final round of Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year 2019 presented by La Rousse Foods 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).

To show their skills, the fourteen participants, coming from a cross-section of great restaurants from all over the country, had to tackle two tasks. They had to make a classic sabayon, strictly following a recipe written by guest chef judge Shauna Froydenlund, in half an hour. They then had 90 minutes to create a dish based on two mystery ingredients, which this year were monkfish and cockles. They could add more elements of their choice 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.

Karan Mittal
Karan Mittal

These two tasks were meant to showcase each semifinalist's essential cooking skills, including palate, creativity, ability to plate, cooking, seasoning, technique, knife skills, understanding of raw ingredients and ability to read a recipe.

In a kitchen overseen by chef Domini Kemp, the young talents were marked on their execution and work practice, the taste and flavour of their dishes, and presentation, with the skills set counting for 25% of the total and the mystery basket test for 75% of the total score.

Matthew Stafford's plate
Matthew Stafford's plate

The eight selected finalists in the Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year competition will all participate in the two-day chefs’ conference Food On The Edge in Galway on October 21st and 22nd. They will also take part in a series of educational events, including a surprise trip abroad, a hands-on visit with suppliers and producers in Ireland and an exclusive collaboration with a leading chef.

The final of Ireland’s premier culinary competition, open to professional chefs under the age of 26, 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.

Full list of eight finalist and their mentors

James Dobson, Potager, Cathal Leonard
Attila Galambos, Aniar, JP McMahon
Daniel Hannigan, New opening, Damien Grey
Karan Mittal, Ananda Restaurant, Gavin McDonagh
Grainne Mullins, Lignum, Daniel Africano
Gareth O'Brien, Bastible, Cuan Greene
Matthew Stafford, The Greenhouse, Mickael Viljanen
Alison Tierney, Dax, Graham Neville