Ireland’s best young chefs and where to eat their food

Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year finalists revealed. Richard Corrigan to help choose winner

Irish chef and restaurateur Richard Corrigan has been announced as the guest judge for the Euro-Toques Ireland Young Chef of the Year competition, the six finalists in which were announced on Monday.

Daniel Guerin (24), chef de partie at Campagne, Kilkenny; Conor Halpenny (23), chef de partie at Chapter One, Dublin; Jack Lenards (21), chef de partie at Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, Dublin; Jason Nolan (22) chef de partie at Aghadoe Heights Hotel and Spa, Killarney; Bronagh Rogers (24) chef de partie at Viewmount House and Evan O'Ceallaigh (21) chef de partie at Ardilaun Hotel, Galway, will progress to the final judging session in Dublin next month.

Prior to that, they will be flown to Italy, to have lunch at Da Vittorio, a restaurant in Bergamo which has three Michelin stars. They will also spend a day meeting producers whose food will be used in the final of the competition, including Dundrum Dexter beef, Ballymakenny potatoes and Highbank Orchard.

The competition, sponsored by La Rousse Foods, has an increasing focus on education, and this year's programme included workshops, demos, supplier visits and introductions and activities designed to mentor and assist the competitors' culinary talent.


For the final judging session, on November 19th, they will cook two dishes, one savoury and one sweet, inspired by the theme for this year, which is back to basics – old-school cooking. They will also cook at a gala dinner in the InterContinental Hotel in Dublin 4, at which the winner will be announced.

The chef judges for the final are Richard Corrigan; Danni Barry, who recently left Deane's EIPIC to set up Clenaghans, near Moira; Graham Neville of Dax; Gareth Mullins of The Marker hotel; Wade Murphy of 1826 Adare, and Paul Kelly, executive pastry chef at The Merrion hotel.

Manuela Spinelli, Secretary General of Euro-toques Ireland said: "The six talented young chefs in this year's Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year have been chosen for their passion, skill and ability to learn. For all the young chefs taking part, this contest is a unique experience that will provide recognition throughout Ireland and beyond, and act as a prestigious stepping-stone in their culinary career."

The winner will take home a trophy designed by chef and artist Kevin Thornton, entitled Time, Temperature, Control, and will win an expenses-paid stage at Corrigan's Mayfair, in London.