One of our new awards for 2019, the Best Under 30 Award, proudly sponsored by S.Pellegrino, was awarded to Gráinne O'Keefe at the FOOD AND WINE Awards in association with Rémy Martin.
The food scene in Ireland is absolutely bursting with talent, but often we see more-seasoned, head chefs receive heaps of accolades. This year, we decided to honour the promising young chefs around the country that are propping up our restaurant industry by introducing our new Best Under 30 Award, sponsored by S.Pellegrino.
We asked those within the industry to nominate their peers to tell us exactly who should take home the top prize, before our judges scrutinised each entry to determine the overall winner. On the night, Gráinne O'Keefe, one of Ireland's most promising young chefs, took home the title of Best Under 30.
Well-known in Dublin, Grainne is head chef at Clanbrassil House and culinary director at BuJo Burger Joint. After training in Culinary Arts at Dublin Institute of Technology (now Technological University Dublin), Grainne worked at The Merrion Hotel, Pichet and Bastible. She also completed a stage at Le Bernadin in New York before taking the position of head chef at Clanbrassil House. She is known for her dedication to her craft, as she constantly tries out new techniques and flavours.
To find out how Gráinne felt about taking home the top prize, we caught up with her after the awards.
"It’s amazing to have won, everyone that was in that category was really talented. It was so great to see my name come up. I was really shocked, I didn’t think I would win. It was one of the last awards to be announced, so the awards were nearly over at that stage and it was such a surprise to hear my name called out.
Over the next year, I'm going to be focusing a lot on Irish food. I've done an episode for an RTÉ show called Beyond The Menu, that will be airing in September. I'm also taking part in an EU cookbook, where the idea is for chefs from each country to pick an ingredient and showcase it in their dish I'm using Clare Island Salmon and I created a summery dish that we had on the menu in Clanbrassil House earlier this year."
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