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IT, Tralee Graduate named Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year 2012 Finalist

Nov 21, 2012

IT, Tralee Graduate named Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year 2012 Finalist

An IT, Tralee graduate of the Higher Certificate in Culinary Arts, John O’Connor, has been announced as a finalist in the Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year 2012 competition. A native of Curraheen, Tralee John is currently working as a Chef at the Malton Hotel in Killarney. John was previously awarded a three month scholarship in 2011 at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, USA, where he concentrated his studies on the Bakery and Pastry aspects of the programme.

The Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year competition has been running for 22 years and its aim is to seek out the best culinary talent in the country and identify young food heroes aged 18-26 who can contribute to the future development and promotion of Irish cooking. The competition seeks to promote local and seasonal sourcing and the best of Irish ingredients and get young chefs thinking, and talking, about what Irish cooking today means and what it can be in the future.

Commenting on the announcement TJ O’Connor, Section Head, Hotel, Culinary & Tourism Department of the IT, Tralee  said, “The Department is extremely proud of John and wishes him the best of luck in the Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year 2012.  This competition presents a unique opportunity to ambitious young chefs to increase their knowledge, enhance their skills and further their career. With the chance to cook with and for top chefs, gain international experience and be recognised as one of the most talented chefs in the country this is a highly coveted award”. Euro-toques, the European Community of Cooks, is a pan-European organisation representing over 3,500 chefs and cooks, with national branches in many European countries. The organisation was established in Brussels in 1986 by Belgian chef Pierre Romeyer of Le Maison de Bouche, a well-known three star Michelin restaurant. The organisation is recognised by the E.U. as a promoter of quality food and a lobby group on food related legislation and the Institute is an associate member of this community.

On Sunday 25th of November, the Young Chef finalists will battle it out at the kitchens of Chapter One restaurant in Dublin for the title of Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year 2012. Leading up to the announcement of the overall winner, finalists will be tested on their culinary skills, questioned by judges and tasked with preparing a feast celebrating the best of Irish cooking today at a secret location in Dublin City Centre. 

John O’Connor is one of five finalists who were chosen from 15 national entrants to the competition which also included Karina Quinlan from Waterville who studied on the Advanced Certificate in Professional Cookery at IT, Tralee and is now working at One Pico restaurant in Dublin.