An evening filled with glamour, style and some of the finest culinary talent ever, prepared and served by students from across the island!
YesChef's publisher Shane Smith hosted the inaugural YesChef Awards 2015 at the impressive Carriage Rooms at Montalto Estate, Ballynahinch Co. Down. Chefs from far and wide as well as restaurant owners, dignitaries and foodies flocked to listen as Shane rolled out the awards. Kate Lawlor from Fenn's Quay in Cork, Joe Flaherty from Brassiere on the Corner, Galway, Will Brown at The Schoolhouse, Comber Co. Down, Birgitta Hedin-Curtin, Burren Smokehouse and chef Munur Kara from the Trump Turnberry Resort in Ayrshire, Scotland and Simon Regan from the Hotel Europe and Patricia Tehan of Carrig Country House in Killorglin were included in this culinary crew.
The menu included some of the finest ingredients available. This was Irish food at its finest. Ingredients included Burren hot-smoked salmon, the Whole Hoggs Chorizo, Kettyle Irish Salt Moss-Aged beef and some wonderful Irish artisan cheeses. The two courses which battled for top place on the menu were Connemara Hill lamb from Dunnes Stores Simply Better range and Ballinwillin Wild Boar.
Students from Tralee Institute of Technology, The Northwest College, Belfast Metropolitan College and Dundalk Institute of Technology all put their shoulders to the wheel to produce the finest awards dinner ever! Chef Eoin McDonnell of president of the Chefs Panel of Ireland said, "I've been to more awards dinners across Ireland and the UK as well as the USA, Canada and beyond and I have never tasted food of this standard with exception of one dinner in Japan, which I would rate equally as outstanding as the dinner served by these students".
Dan Browne, Culinary Arts Lecturer, Tralee Institute of Technology said, "We were delighted to be involved in a national culinary event like the 'Yes Chef' Awards and to get the chance to cook for some of the best chefs in the country. We would like to thank all the suppliers who contributed their amazing produce to our dish, especially Barry Mulvihill of Tender Meats who supplied the beautiful Lamb. It was an invaluable experience for Niamh Stack, student of the Institute of Technology Tralee, and a great opportunity for her to meet students from other colleges and network with professional chefs. The highlight for Niamh, being the Stage that Yes Chef have organised for her with Trump Turnberry Resort, Ayrshire, Scotland.”
Niamh Stack it was and invaluable experience for me. It was a great experience to see the dishes from the other colleges involved in order to broaden my culinary imagination. It gave me the opportunity to meet students from other colleges and also to meet a number of professional chefs.
Niamh stack, main course student from Tralee Institute of Technology said, "it was and invaluable experience for me. It was a great experience to see the dishes from the other collages involved in order to broaden my culinary imagination. It gave me the opportunity to meet students from other collages and also to meet a number of professional chefs from industry.
Jason O'Brien, Odaios Foods said, "It was a great pleasure to support and be part of the YesChef Awards 2015. The awards underpin the YesChef publication in terms of promoting culinary excellence in Ireland and inspiring current and future generations of chefs".
Paul Ruegg of Flogas said, "The YesChef Awards 2015 was a fantastic event for the industry, recognising and rewarding the best in culinary talent in Ireland at the moment while at the same time championing the up and coming chefs of the future. Flogas thoroughly enjoyed the evening in the glorious Carriage Rooms at the Montalto Estate and were proud to be sponsoring the Awards in its inaugural year. Congratulations to Shane and his team in organising a wonderful event and, of course, to all the winners and finalists – the standard was unbelievably high!”
Shane Smith YesChef said, "We were thrilled with so many restaurants performing much higher than expected showcasing the levels of culinary dedication there is throughout the industry. The front-of-house award was a category which was extremely tight again showing the ever-increasing levels of excellence within restaurants across the island.
“We see this is a springboard for future events and intend to develop the YesChef awards on an annual basis. Our passion for the industry is only cemented more when we see the tremendous effort from the students who are the chefs of the future. The standing ovation at the end of service was overwhelming and very well-deserved, the moment when I felt a tremendous sense of achievement for merely facilitating the event. We gave them wonderful produce and they returned it in style. Some wonderful students, backed up by some wonderful mentors from both college and industry. Roll on next year...”