The winners of the prestigious Young Chef Young Waiter Ireland Awards 2023 have been revealed.
Galway native Stiofán Feeney, who is currently working at Stage Italy in Rome, beat off stiff competition to win the Young Chef award and Francesca Motta, who works at Chapter One in Dublin, won the Young Waiter award. Both will now go on to compete at the world finals in Monaco in November 2023 to celebrate culinary professionals and hospitality excellence.
In the final of yesterday’s (Tuesday) competition, which was held at Titanic Belfast, a host of professional young waiters and chefs from Northern Ireland the Republic of Ireland took part in a comprehensive judging day with a number of culinary challenges in the kitchen of Titanic Belfast and serving challenges in the Titanic Suite under the watchful eyes of an expert panel of judges. Online judges included Chef Richard Corrigan and chef-proprietor Anna Haugh of Myrtle London, while at the live final Group Executive Chef at Harcourt Developments Gordon Smyth, Noel McMeel of Ebrington Hotel, Mike Tweedie of Adare Manor and Adrian McNally, Titanic Hotel Belfast were joined by alongside other well-known advocates for new talent.
Those vying to be crowned Young Chef were given 3.5 hours to create a three course meal whilst the Young Waiter candidates had to select pairing wines for each course and undertake a number of challenging scenario based situations before taking part in an interview with the judges.
Industry guests from across the tourism and hospitality industry, including Tourism Northern Ireland, Belfast Met, Hospitality and Tourism (HATS) Network and Harcourt Developments, were invited to attend the final part of the competition for an intimate lunch whilst the judges observed for the final part of the challenge.
Judith Owens MBE, Chief Executive of Titanic Belfast commented: "The Young Chef Young Waiter competition is a fantastic initiative that showcases the up-and-coming stars of those working in hospitality and provides a very important platform to encourage more young talent to pursue a career in the industry."
"The response to this year’s event has been incredible and we at Titanic Belfast were delighted to give participants the chance to use our kitchen and Titanic Suite to demonstrate their skills and culinary flair to the judges and invited guests. Congratulations to Stiofán Feeney and Francesca Motta and I wish you both the very best at the world final." Judith continued.
Judge, Chef Richard Corrigan added: "This competition celebrates excellence and promotes culinary arts and hospitality as a career of choice. The judges were very impressed at the extremely high calibre of talent of all of our finalists and each one of them should be very proud of themselves. I look forward to following the careers of our winners, and indeed our fantastic group of finalists, in the years ahead as I am confident they will all have very bright futures."
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