Showing posts with label Euro-toques. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Euro-toques. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Euro-toques Day Out. From Wood to Waterfall

Euro-toques Day Out
From Wood to Waterfall
Under the waterfall at Greene's: Pam, Kate, Christine.
From foggy morning to sunny afternoon, the Munster contingent of Euro-toques enjoyed their day out last Monday. That foggy morning was spent foraging mushrooms in a North Cork wood while the afternoon saw the chefs and guests tuck into a gorgeous late lunch in Greene’s by the Waterfall. Greene's head chef Bryan McCarthy put the day’s package together with a huge input from Mark and Lucy of Ballyhoura Mushrooms and sponsorship by Wines Direct and La Rousse Foods.
In the wood
It was quite an education in the woods and we all agreed you’d need more than one outing with an expert before trusting yourself in the mushroom field. Lots to take in as Mark and Lucy shared their in-depth knowledge.

“Chanterelles can't be cultivated, they are symbiotic. They grow from May to the first frost, have a sweet seafoody flavour and an apricot aroma when fresh. They have a solid stem. The false chanterelle has a hollow one. There are also autumn chanterelles, including a black one one called the Horn of Plenty, found in areas of pine, with a lovely woody flavour, our favourite!”.
In the wood (2): Caroline takes the higher ground;
Fionnula relaxes with her bag of food.
Bottom: "This one stinks!" (right)
and Gautham searching in the fog.
Note the polypores on the tree
on the left.
“Ceps are found near mature beech trees, When they are young they are snow white with a natural umami flavour, great texture and very versatile as regards use.” But maybe not as versatile as the Birch polypore which, when dried out, can be used to sharpen your kitchen knives!

Much more to be found out as the bus load of mostly amateurs spread out among the trees, watching out for branches springing back, muddy patches, cow pats, slippery slopes, briars, even barbed wire here and there. Still, despite a few minor tumbles, it turned out to be a terrific morning in the old deciduous wood and quite a few baskets were filled.
Cured organic Deenish Island Salmon
Back to the bus then and we arrived in Greene's in mid-afternoon sun be be greeted with cool glasses of La Contesse spumante.  Fionnula Harkin of Wines Direct, introduced us to Francesca of Le Contesse who told us about the family run vineyard, how the grapes are handpicked and that quality and consistency are prime considerations. Fionnula emphasised that this is the kind of vineyard that Wines Direct deals with, “family run vineyards, nothing industrial”.

Ross Lewis from Chapter One, a senior member of Euro-toques, then spoke. “Ireland has some of the best primary produce in the world. And Euro-toques is one big food family, passionately engaged with artisans. As the artisan movement gets stronger and stronger, Ireland's food will have its day in the sun.” He reported that tourists in his own restaurant are overwhelmingly positive about their experiences of Irish food.

Seared Wild Irish Venison Haunch Fillet
wine: Luc Lapeyre Les Clots (Languedoc)
And then it was time to sample some of that food. We had some beautiful nibbles by the waterfall in the sun before moving indoors to continue enjoying the produce of Ballyhoura Mushrooms, Wines Direct, Caroline Robinson Organic Vegetables, Kilbrack Farm, La Rousse Foods, Ummera, Jack McCarthy, Waterfall Farms, and Arbutus Breads. Greene’s chefs, like their Euro-toques colleagues nationwide are, as Ross Lewis said, “passionately engaged with artisans”. And this meal brilliantly underlined it!

  • If you spot your favourite chef sprouting a moustache this month and next, he’s more than likely doing it for charity, all in aid of Movember who raise awareness and funds for prostrate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s health. Don’t leave it all to the chefs!
Poached Garden Pear & Wild Foraged Blackberry
wine: Le Contesse Pinot Rose.




Friday, November 8, 2013

Five finalists announced in Euro-toques young chef of the year

Five finalists announced in Euro-toques
 young chef of the year 2013

Euro-toques have announced their five finalists in Ireland’s most distinguished culinary competition making Ireland one step closer to discovering the Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year winner 2013.

Chosen by a panel of well-known chef’s and judges, the five finalists in the Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year 2013 competition are:
 
·       Mark Moriarty (aged 21) Chef de Partie, The Greenhouse Restaurant
·       Kevin Burke (aged 24) Chef de Partie, Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, Merrion Hotel
·       Paula Leavy (aged 26) Chef de Partie from Locks Brasserie
·       Brian O’Flaherty (aged 24) Commis Chef in Restaurant Forty One, Residence Members Club
·       Grainne O’Keefe (aged 22) Junior Sous Chef in Pichet



Euro-Toques are looking for three simple winning ingredients when it comes to selecting the finalist for Young Chef of the Year – talent, enthusiasm and a passion for Irish food and heritage. Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year 2013 is in association with Fáilte Ireland is looking to identify young talents who have the potential to represent and define the Irish culinary scene, drawing from our land, traditions and culinary heritage.

The theme for the 2013 competition is ‘Food Memories: Your Interpretation?’ and it will be carried right through to the final event on November 24th; where the young chefs will use the past as an inspiration for the future, in order to create contemporary dishes that reflect re-imaginings of flavours, ingredients and presentation. 

Judges for the final will include Elena Arzak, Best female Chef in the World in 2012 and joint head chef of three Michelin stared restaurant Arzak alongside her father Juan Mari Arzak.
 
The Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year 2013 will win a stage at ALMA, the International School of Italian cuisine in Colorno Italy, headed by world renowned chef Gualtiero Marchesi, amongst other exciting opportunities.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Healthy Eating: Euro-toques Chefs visit schools


Government needs to re-think its approach to Healthy Eating and Tackling Obesity, say Chefs
Euro-toques Chefs Nationwide visit schools for annual ‘Mini-Chefs’ School Food Workshops this week
30th April – 4th May, Nationwide

This week many chefs around the country are taking time out from busy kitchens and businesses to share a little of their passion of food and cooking in Ireland’s classrooms, part of an annual initiative by Euro-toques Ireland – Irish branch of the Europe-wide ‘European Community of Chefs’ – to encourage healthier eating habits in children. The idea behind the workshops is simply to get children interested in food; how it grows or is produced, where it comes from, how to prepare and eat it, and to encourage them to think and ask questions about what they eat. The events are taking place nationwide – mainly in primary schools – from Monday 30th of April to Friday 4th of May as part of Euro-toques ‘Mini-Chefs’ School Food Workshops week. Each workshop is headed up by a Euro-toques industry chef.
It is well worthwhile taking a few minutes to read the full Euro-toques document and see the list of local events; please click here

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

CONGRATS KAMIL, 2011 Euro-toques winner

Second year running for Knockranny House Hotel
Kamil Dubanik, from Knockranny House Hotel, is Crowned Winner of
2011 Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year


The best parties are celebrated in the kitchen. Young chef Kamil Dubanik, from Knockranny House Hotel in Co. Mayo, celebrates becoming the 21st Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year, in association with BIM & Failte Ireland. 


This is an exceptional win for Knockranny House Hotel as last year’s winner also came from the hotel (Mary Ryan was the 2010 Euro-toques Young Chef winner). Chefs mentored by Knockranny House Hotel Head Chef Seamus Commons (right in picture, with Kamil) have reached the competition final for three years running.  Toques off to Kamil Dubanik (23), who was crowned the winner on Monday 28 November at a gourmet tasting lunch prepared by the competition finalists in The Merrion Hotel Dublin.

This is the ultimate acoloade that Kamil and fellow finalists have been contesting for over the last 6 weeks.  Kamil’s journey to this culinary award is remarkable. Originally from Poland, he has been in the kitchen only three year; starting out as kitchen porter Knockranny House Hotel in Westport, Co. Mayo and workings his way up to his current position of Demi-Chef de Partie. He recently completed an Advanced Certificate in Professional Cookery at GMIT.

His recipe for the culinary skills test was Roast Troncon of Achill Island Turbot, Dublin Bay Prawn Tortellini, Jerusalem Artichoke, Mushroom, Cheek, Liver, Dublin Bay Prawn, Lovage.  Cooking has allowed Kamil express his passion for a diversity of ingredients and demonstrate his creativity.  His interpretation of the competition brief and his understanding of ingredients was evident in the dish he delivered to the judging panel. Judges felt he was an eager, hungry chef who showed intelligence in his approach and an extremely high level of skill considering his mere 3 years in the kitchen. A talent to be watched.

Kamil is motivated by sometimes taking the least obvious approach to cooking.  For example in his culinary skills test, he used the fish cheeks and liver in his recipe which achieved different flavours and textures in his dish, that stood out to the judges.  Kamil appreciates and respects great Irish ingredients and pushes his own culinary instinct to use all elements where possible.  This creative thinking is also parallel to Eurotoques values of “nose to tail” cooking.

Kamil’s chef hero is the infamous Ferran Adrià and while the world’s is now his oyster, Kamil remains true to his second home of Ireland and would like to progress his career working with the best talent in the country.  Kamil  is mentored by Knockranny House Hotel Euro-toques Head Chef Seamus Commons (formerly Head Chef at Dublin’s Michelin star L’Ecrivain restaurant).

The top prize for the 2011 Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year is the opportunity of an all-expenses paid stage at The Ivy, London's favourite restaurant, under Executive Chef Gary Lee. Plus a one week stage at the award winning Michelin star Chapter One restaurant in Dublin under the tutelage of Euro-toques head chef Ross Lewis.

The ultimate challenge in the Euro-toques Young Chef competition was the culinary skills test which took place in Chapter One Dublin on Sunday 27 November.  Speaking on behalf of the judging panel, Ross Lewis commented on the high standard of skill and creativity from the finalists this year.  “There was a very high standard reflecting local and original cuisine that was thoughtful, clever and well crafted.  It was very hard to choose a clear winner today and they should be all extremely proud of themselves.”

Kamil Dubanik competed for this honour along with his fellow finalists - Aisling Gallagher (24) from Ballynahinch Castle, Galway; Kyle Greer (24) from No 27 Talbot Street Belfast; Micheal Harley (22) from Rathmullan House, Co. Donegal; David Magaeen (24) from Restaurant Victoria Belfast and Margaret Roche (23) from The Cellar at The Merrion Hotel Dublin.

Each of the six finalists in this years competition final showcased their culinary expertise by each cooking a course for the presentation lunch in The Merrion Hotel.  Each course was carefully paired with the appropriate wine for the dish, supplied by Findlater Wine & Spirit Group.

Among the overall prizes, each of the finalists will win a unique food experience with BIM and Failte Ireland. BIM will host a one day practical on-site introduction to the complex world of the seafood industry, visiting a seafood facility and discussing how fish is caught or harvested, bought, and sold, and what this all means to a chef. Including meetings with key industry personnel, processors and industry chef.  Failte Ireland will host a Food Tourism road trip - an educational 4 day food focused road trip taking in ‘hands-on’ cooking time  in top professional kitchens, visits to artisan food producers;  tastings, demos, unique meal experiences  and overnight stays with exemplary Irish food and hospitality operators.

The Euro-toques Young Chef competition emphasises training and development, with the role of the mentor being central to the process.  This years sponsors are BIM and Failte Ireland and their involvement reflects their recognition of the importance of chefs in building Ireland’s national and international food reputation, the pivotal role that ‘local food’ plays in this and, above all, their commitment to education and development in this sector.  This year’s competition is also supported suppliers La Rousse Foods, Findlater Wine & Spirit Group and Bragard, and Industry partners The Merrion Hotel Dublin, The Ivy London and Chapter One Restaurant.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

SIX TOP YOUNG CHEFS IN EURO-TOQUES FINAL

Its Hotting Up in the Kitchen
Euro-toques Young Chef Competition 2011 – Finalists announced

The temperature has been high in the kitchen and now the finalists, six outstanding young professional chefs from around the country, have been announced (8 November) each competing  for this year’s Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year 2011.

The Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year, in association with BIM & Failte Ireland, is the only professional culinary competition in the country based around local and artisan food ingredients. Through mentoring and training based prizes the competition aims to contribute to the professional development of promising young industry professionals.

Despite the recession the number of skilled chefs in Ireland significantly falls short of the demand in Irish kitchens and restaurants; many qualified chefs travel abroad and not enough return home!  For 21 years, the Euro-toques Young Chef competition has been searching for – and nurturing - the future culinary talent of Ireland.

Celebrating this achievement are Kamil Dubanik (23) from Knockranny House Hotel, Westport; Aisling Gallagher (24) from Ballynahinch Castle, Galway; Kyle Greer (24) from No 27 Talbot Street Belfast; Micheal Harley (22) from Rathmullan House, Co. Donegal; David Magaeen (24) from Restaurant Victoria Belfast and Margaret Roche (23) from The Cellar at The Merrion Hotel Dublin. (detailed biogs below).

Such industry chefs as Paul Flynn, Ross Lewis and current Euro-toques Commissioner-General Gearoid Lynch are involved in the competition judging, along with representatives from competition partners BIM and Failte Ireland. Candidates, who must be under the age of 25, submitted a written recipe entry and were then shortlisted for interview and a blind taste test. From these two stages, six finalists were selected to compete in the final.

The heat is now on!  These six finalists now have the next 3 weeks to devise and practice their dishes for the culinary skills test final in Chapter One Restaurant on Sunday 27th November. They must prepare and plate 2 portions of an original dish, using Dublin Bay Prawns and Achill Island Turbot, and present it to the panel of 5 chef judges for tasting, within 70 minutes. On the skills test judging panel Paul Flynn (The Tannery Dungarvan) and Ross Lewis (Chapter One Restaurant Dublin) will be joined by Lorcan Cribbin (Il Segreto Restaurant Dublin), Marc Amand, MD La Rousse Foods and panel chair Neil McFadden. Both Cribbin & McFadden have competed for Ireland on a World Stage in the renowned Bocuse d’Or and know what it takes to compete at that level.

In addition, over the next 3 weeks, the six young finalists will also need to perfect their dishes for a tasting menu which will showcase their talents for state, industry and media guests at the 5 star Merrion Hotel Dublin on Monday 28th of November. Each of the finalists will be introduced to guests before their course is served. At the end of the presentation lunch  the 21st Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year will be announced.

Despite the recession the number of skilled chefs in Ireland significantly falls short of the demand in Irish kitchens and restaurants; many qualified chefs travel abroad and not enough return home!  For 21 years, the Euro-toques Young Chef competition has been searching for – and nurturing - the future culinary talent of Ireland.

“We are crying out for talented, hard-working chefs in our kitchens right now” commented Gearoid Lynch, Commissioner General Euro-toques Ireland at today’s event.  “It is very heartening to see young chefs such as these six, who are willing to push themselves, aim ever higher and who see a future for themselves in this industry. This competition allows us to contribute to their development as chefs and also to hold them up as examples to those who may come after them; both in terms of what is expected of them, but also what they can achieve. It is also hugely important for us to recognise the experienced chefs who give their time and commitment to training future talent. Our competition partners BIM and Failte Ireland have recognised the role that chefs have to play in promoting Irish food and tourism, and we must ensure our industry lives up to that expectation by investing in its future”.

The competition emphasises training and development, with the role of the mentor being central to the process.  This years sponsors are BIM and Failte Ireland and their involvement reflects their recognition of the importance of chefs in building Ireland’s national and international food reputation, the pivotal role that ‘local food’ plays in this and, above all, their commitment to education and development in this sector.  This year’s competition is also supported suppliers La Rousse Foods, Findlater Wine & Spirit Group and Bragard, and Industry partners The Merrion Hotel Dublin, The Ivy London and Chapter One Restaurant.

The top prize for the 2011 Young Chef of the Year will be the opportunity of an all-expenses paid stage at The Ivy, London's favourite restaurant, under Executive Chef Gary Lee. Plus a one week stage at the award winning Michelin star Chapter One restaurant in Dublin under the tutelage of Euro-toques head chef Ross Lewis.

Among the overall prizes, each of the finalists will win a unique food experience with BIM and Failte Ireland. BIM will host a one day practical on-site introduction to the complex world of the seafood industry, visiting a seafood facility and discussing how fish is caught or harvested, bought, and sold, and what this all means to a chef. Including meetings with key industry personnel, processors and industry chef.  Failte Ireland will host a Food Tourism road trip - an educational 4 day food focused road trip taking in ‘hands-on’ cooking time  in top professional kitchens, visits to artisan food producers;  tastings, demos, unique meal experiences  and overnight stays with exemplary Irish food and hospitality operators.

For more info, including biogs of the young chefs, read here...