A tweet in mid September from Maeve Walsh says her “inspiration stems from the seasonal product that are native to Ireland”. On Sunday night, inspiration bottled up, Walsh (pictured above centre) was named as this year’s Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year.
Guest chef Nathan Outlaw announced the winner of this year’s competition just before 10.30pm on Sunday night.
Chef de Partie Restaurant FortyOne at Residence and mentored by Graham Neville, at 23 years old Maeve is currently completing a degree in Culinary Entrepreneurship at DIT.
Native of Dungarvan, West Waterford, she’s also not lacking in ambition – according to Euro-Toques – having travelled as far as San Francisco to expand her culinary horizons and having been selected as a regional finalist in another young chef competition back in 2007.
She had been part of a shortlist of six chef hopefuls which also included The Marker Hotel’s Glen Sutcliffe (23), Old Street’s Chris Fullam (23), Aniar’s Killian Crowley (24), The Canteen’s Gary Doyle (25) and The Brooklodge & Strawberry Tree’s Marc McWilliams (25).
The competition, run in association with La Rousse Foods, seeks out talented young chefs aged between 18 and 26. The theme for this year was ‘Inspiration’ and while the skills are certainly put to the test, creativity, flair and a passion for good ingredients were recognised as being key to success.
Chapter One played host to the final this weekend where the above six had two hours with two separate skills tests, cooked in front of a panel of chefs including Nathan Outlaw (2 star Michelin chef, Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Cornwall) before final deliberation and judging took place.