I was invited to attend the Euro-toques Young Chef Of The Year last night in Marketplace on Capel Street. It was held in a private car park with 5 market stalls where each chef prepared a dish for us to taste. Euro- toques Ireland was established in 1986, by Myrtle Allen. Today the membership is made up of about180 chefs; most of them active in restaurant kitchens, some in catering and consultancy, others engaged in teaching; who support the philosophy of sourcing top quality local and seasonal food ingredients to serve to their customers, therefore delivering foods of flavour, authenticity and provenance. Euro-toques Ireland is a non-profit organisation, financed by membership subscriptions and sponsorship from a number of selected companies and related bodies.
We arrived on time and we were really looking forward to seeing how this ” Street Food” concept was going to work. The car park was buzzing with bloggers, media, chefs from around Ireland and eager guests looking forward to meeting the 5 finalists and tasting their food. The car park was warm and the scene was set perfectly. Each chef had his street stall with what he was serving displayed. As one of the main partners of Euro-toques Wines Direct proudly supplied all the prosecco and wine for the night. Bell Lane coffee was also there, I really love their coffee.
The countries best 5 chefs were competing for a prize of two weeks work experience at the two Michelin-star London restaurant The Square. Early in the day the 5 Chefs prepared food for the judges at Cooks Academy in Dublin, before preparing for us (200 guests) It was a very long day for the guys, so a big hats of to them.
David and Stephen Flynn from The Happy Pear introduced us to the 5 finalists and explained how the night was going to work. The brothers were fun and really got us in a good mood and were one of my highlights of the night. I think the whole concept of keeping the event casual, informal and quirky was a great idea. More events should follow suit.
First up to taste was a dish from Ian McHale, from Chapter One he cooked Braised pork cheek, crispy pigs ears, spiced pumpkin crush, sage puree, brandy apple and horseradish.
Second Dish was from Chris Fullam, a 3rd year Culinary arts student at DIT, Cathal Brugha Street, he cooked, Cappuccino of bouillabaisse with a cream of sea urchin foam, baguette au levain and a traditional marselle roulle.
For our third dish it was “Bacon & Egg”, Ballinwillain farm venison bacon scotch egg, little milk company vintage cheddar custard, black pudding raisin and Longueville cider puree. Cooked by John Fitzpatrick of the Mustard Seed
Our fourth Savory dish before we headed for our dessert was from This years Winner Matthew Logan from Chapter One, he cooked Ballyhoura wild mushrooms, smoked Potato, onion galette.
Finally was our dessert prepared for us by Luke Ahearne from Campagne , we had Sea Dog Rum pannacotta, pear and chestnut.
Its great to see how food is evolving in Ireland and how proud we are of all our irish produce. Ireland has so much to offer and its great to see young chefs supporting this. The talent last night was at an all time high and I can only imagine how difficult it was to make a decision.
Euro-toques partners are