DIT Student named as Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year 2012

DIT student Ciarán Elliott awarded prestigious culinary award

26 November, 2012: Ciarán Elliott was awarded the distinguished 2012 Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year title yesterday at an exclusive pop up event in Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin. Ciarán was one of five finalists who battled it out over the past three months to win this esteemed title. In the spring he will head off on an all-expenses paid stint at renowned three Michelin starred Spanish restaurant ARZAK in San Sebastian.*


Ciarán Elliott (24) is currently in the final year of a four-year B.A in Culinary Arts in DIT, while also working as a Chef de Partie in Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud in Dublin 2.

Speaking at the final Ciarán said, “The competition was one of the most fulfilling experiences and greatest challenges of my career so far. It was a great chance for me to showcase my talent as a chef. But it also presents fantastic opportunities for me to develop my skills further and use my passion to promote Irish cooking working with Failte Ireland and Euro-Toques.”


Commenting at the final, Gearoid Lynch, President of Euro-toques Ireland said, “This year’s Young Chef of the Year competition was truly one of the best years yet. All five finalists brought something different to the table but in the end Ciarán’s hard work and flair shone through and we were delighted to announce Ciarán as the overall winner of Young Chef of the Year 2012.”

Now in its 22nd year, this year’s new look Young Chef competition, in association with Failte Ireland, set out to find Young Chef Heroes who can contribute to developing an identity for Irish cooking and promoting Ireland’s culinary reputation at home and abroad. Failte Ireland intend to work with all 5 finalists in the coming year on a variety of promotional activities.


Indeed, of the five finalists that made it through to the final stage of this year’s Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year competition, two of those selected are current DIT students.  In addition to Ciarán, Mark Moriarty, a third year student on DIT’s B.A. in Culinary Arts made it through to the final stage of Ireland’s most distinguished culinary competition.


Changes to the competition this year, saw candidates submitting entries via social media and finalists taking part in a media speed tasting & pop-up lunch event held in Cooks Academy in October where their signature dishes were sampled by the public. Sunday saw all five finalists demonstrating their culinary expertise at the final skills test held in Chapter One Restaurant, Dublin. Each finalist created an original dish in 60 minutes using Euro-Toques award-winning pasture-reared chicken from The Friendly Farmer in Galway. Dishes were then presented and explained to the five judges.

The judging panel included Trevor Moran, Sous Chef at Restaurant Noma, Copenhagen that holds two Michelin stars and was voted best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine for 3 years running (2010, 2011, 2012), Michelin-starred Ross Lewis of Chapter One, Euro-Toques President and former Euro-toques Young Chef winner Gearoid Lynch, Marc Amand, MD of La Rousse Foods, Lorcan Cribbin of Il Segreto and Stephen Gibson of Pichet. The panel was chaired by Neil McFadden.


A special event celebrating Irish cooking took place on Sunday evening at Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin to mark the 2012 Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year and announce the winner. Guests were treated to a 5-course meal prepared by the finalists and their restaurants based on the theme ‘Ireland’s Foodscape’.

You can download a copy of Ciarán’s winning recipe here .

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