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Irish Chef Competes for Title of “Best Young Chef in Europe” at the 2018 European Young Chef Award

Young chefs from across Europe will gather in Ireland for the final of the European Young Chef Award 2018, which is taking place in Galway as part of Galway, West of Ireland’s designation as a 2018 European Region of Gastronomy (ERoG).

The European Young Chef Award aims to promote culinary innovation using traditional cuisine and local produce, highlight sustainable food cultures and inspire future ambassadors for the Regions of Gastronomy in Europe.

The event provides an opportunity to young chefs to experience different culinary cultures from across Europe and share ideas with, and learn from, other culinary talents. To celebrate the value of local food diversity and regional distinctiveness, day one will see the young chefs showcase traditional dishes and local food products from their own region.

The competition will kick off on day two when the chefs are tasked with creating an innovative version of a dish which is traditional to their region. A panel comprised of leading chefs and international experts will judge the dishes based on their innovation, taste, presentation and cleanliness.

Representing Ireland is Galway chef and final year student in the GMIT Culinary Arts programme, Andrew Ishmael, who is mentored by Sadie Davoren. Andrew hopes to follow in the footsteps of fellow Galway chef, Aisling Rock, who took the prestigious title of European Young Chef 2017 in Barcelona last year.

For Andrew’s signature dish, he will serve beetroot-cured mackerel with horseradish panna cotta, pickled shallot and fennel, which is a twist on the classic combination of mackerel with horseradish cream.

Andrew Ishmael said, ‘Mackerel was the first ingredient I fell in love with as a child so it felt natural for the classic combination of mackerel and horseradish cream to be the inspiration for my dish. I am very proud to be representing Ireland, and the West of Ireland in particular, in the European Young Chef Award and to have the opportunity to showcase the quality produce and rich food culture we have here in Ireland. I am looking forward to introducing this to the other contestants, as well as learning about their food traditions.”

The European Young Chef Award aims to strengthen the links between European gastronomic regions, and provide young chefs with the opportunity to learn about the gastronomic heritage of different regions and establish a professional network.

Programme co-ordinator for ERoG, Galway, Elaine Donohue said, “We are delighted to welcome our international guests to Galway for this year’s European Young Chef Award. This marks the culmination of a year full of exciting events from our flagship programme. The past 12 months have encapsulated the quality of Galway’s food industry. The region is alive with creativity and innovation, and locals and visitors alike have experienced what our farmers, producers, restaurants and chefs have to offer. The European Young Chef Award allows for the next generation of innovative chefs to grow and flourish throughout their careers. This aptly ties into our theme of ‘From the Ground Up, Feeding Our Future’. Galway’s food culture is one that is inclusive and socially diverse, with significant contributions from people of all ages and backgrounds. This wonderful event is a fantastic opportunity for competing chefs to get a first-hand experience of the region’s rich food industry. A warm welcome awaits one and all for this momentous occasion.”

The other finalists who will be competing for the European Young Chef Award are Beatriz Costa from Minho in Portugal, Eric Díaz from Barcelona in Catalonia, Andra Andriuc from Sibiu in Romania, Zok Žurman from Slovenia, Daniele Coccett from Terra di Marca in Italy, Suvi Mäki from Kuopio in Finland and Tim Bressers from Noord-Brabant in The Netherlands.

The 2018 European Young Chef Award will take place on the 25th and 26th of November in Galway, and the winner will be announced at an award ceremony at 2:00pm on Monday the 26th of November at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT).

The European Young Chef Award is organised by the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Art and Tourism (IGCAT) in collaboration with key partners in the Regions of Gastronomy.

The European Young Chef Award is being hosted by the four key European Region of Gastronomy 2018 partners: Galway County Council, Galway City Council, GMIT and Teagasc. For more information about European Region of Gastronomy, Galway, see the official website www.galwaygastronomy.ie and follow @gastronomy2018 on social media.

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