The Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year competition presented by La Rousse Foods has become firmly established as Ireland’s premier cooking awards for young chefs. However, it has also become something much more than a competition, as it seeks to nurture and educate the amazing raw culinary talent Ireland has to offer.
The competition includes a number of educational activities home and abroad. The semi-finalists and finalists now travel around the country where they attend workshops, meet food producers and engage in cooking demonstrations by Ireland’s top chefs and artisan producers. They are also given the opportunity to travel abroad to experience and dine in a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Top chefs demonstrate not only great skill but also creativity, flair and passion. They also establish a real connection with top-quality, natural ingredients. The winner of the Young Chef of the Year Competition must possess all of these qualities in abundance and stay true to the Euro-Toques values.
The purpose of the competition is, therefore, to ensure that the next generation of chefs will be passionate about the tradition of Irish cooking as well as keen to experiment and continue to develop the trends set by world-renowned Irish chefs in their own unique way.
Open to professional young chefs, the competition has a proven track record in discovering the best young chefs around, with former winners including Mark Moriarty who went on to win the World San Pellegrino Young Chef Competition in 2015.
How does it work?
The competition traditionally starts in June every year and guides the chefs through a culinary journey culminating with the final in November. Following the pandemic, the competition was suspended in 2020 and 2021 and is resuming in 2022 with a different schedule, which will lead to a final in June.
Participating in the Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year Competition is a unique experience and exposes young chefs to an internationally renowned standard that will provide recognition throughout Ireland and beyond. It is a prestigious stepping stone in any culinary career.
How can I apply?
In order to enter the competition chefs are asked to submit an application form and a social media entry through the Euro-Toques social media platforms. Following registering for the competition, the chefs are tasked with a written assignment which involves the development of a recipe based on the theme that has been selected for the year.
On the basis of the written entry, candidates will be short-listed for the interview stage.
Those emerging successfully from the interviews will battle it out in the first culinary skills test: the Semi-Finals.
In the semi-finals stage the young chefs are set a different challenge every year. They may be required to cook a dish on the basis of a given recipe or they may be given a mystery box of ingredients.
A panel of judges will taste the dishes and select the finalists who will compete for the title of The Young Chef of the Year at the second and final culinary skills test.
In all culinary skills tests, the young chefs will have to take into consideration the running theme for the competition as well as the key values of Euro-Toques Ireland, namely heritage and provenance.
The panel of judges for both culinary elements of the competition is carefully selected by Euro-Toques Ireland and includes both Irish and international talents.
Previous international guest judges include: Trevor Moran (formerly Noma, Copenhagen, The Catbird Seat, Nashville); Elena Arzak (Arzak, San Sebastian); Phil Howard (formerly The Square, now Elystan Street, London); Claire Smyth (formerly at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, now Core, London); Nathan Outlaw (Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Port Isaac, Cornwall); Anna Haugh (Pied á Terre, Ramsay’s London House, London) and Richard Corrigan (Corrigan’s Mayfair, Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill, and Virginia Park Lodge in Virginia, Ireland).
The winner will be announced at a Gala dinner on the same night and will be presented with a trophy, commissioned by presenting partners La Rousse Food in 2017 and created by renowned Irish chef Kevin Thornton.
The trophy will be handed down to the winner of the competition year on year. The name of the winner will be inscribed on the trophy. The trophy will be on display in the restaurant where the young chef of the year works.
Culminating the education journey, the winner receives an education driven prize, in the form of a stage to be agreed and arranged with the competition’s guest judge or if that were not possible another international chef of the same calibre. This will be managed and organised entirely by Euro-Toques Ireland
Be part of the Young Chef of the Year Competition
Once the competition begins each year a select number of young chefs will be chosen to embark on this incredible culinary journey with us to discover the world of Irish food heritage before the overall winner is chosen.
Follow us on social media in order to keep up to date with the progress of the chefs and if you wish to be part of this journey. Support the young chefs as they make their way towards the final:
JOIN THE CONVERSATION #YC2022