Mark Moriarity of Dublin inaugural S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015!


imageLast week the whole of Cape Town, if not South Africa, was rooting for Chef Angelo Scirocco of The Chef’s Warehouse in the S. Pellegrino Young Chef 2015, representing Africa and the Middle East, but it was not meant to be.  Chef Mark Moriarity from Dublin won the title in the inaugural competition, which received 3000 entries from chefs under the age of 30 years. In the Finals last week twenty regional finalists competed for the title.

Chef Angelo had everything going for him in Milan : Chef David Higgsimage of five hundred restaurant was his official competition mentor, and was at his side in the Expo Milano 2015 city. Chef Liam Tomlin is Chef Angelo’s employer, and must have been an inspiration in itself, in designing such an unusual dish, being a milk dessert which he called ‘Milk is thicker than Water’! Chef Margot Janse of The Tasting Room in Franschhoek imagewas one of seven international judges of the competition. I was lucky to have been invited to the Africa/Middle East finals four months ago, and to have enjoyed a taste of Chef Angelo’s unique dish, which consists of elderflower pannna cotta, strachiatella mozzarella, vanilla and cardamom rice pudding, buttermilk ice cream, and meringue shards, on a straw base.

Chef Mark of The Culinary Counter in Dublin won with his dish of cured and smoked celeriac, and celeriac and toasted hay tea, wishing to communicate that Ireland cuisine is more than its staple potatoes, and imagereflected its national drink Guinness.  Chefs Maria Jose Jordan, representing Latin America, and Christian A. Petersen, representing the Scandinavian countries, were named in the top three of twenty chefs from around the globe vying for the title. Chef Maria was named as the winning Best Chef/Designer couple, with fashion designer Paula Casemartori, an interesting dimension of the competition, introduced in conjunction with Vogue Italia. Xiao Li from China was named the Best Designer.

The chef judges Massimo Bottura, Gaston Acurio, Yannick Alléno, Yoshihiro Nariswa, Joan Roca, Grant Achatz, and Margot Janse, all top 100 chefs on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015, were a formidable panel, and were demure in claiming that they had been privileged to learn from the young chefs, whose dishes were praised for their composition, seasoning, and fine food, giving them ‘goosebumps‘.

It was disappointing that our South African representatives provided so little information about the event, even if Chef Angelo did not win. Even Fine Dining Lovers, the official communication medium, was thin on information about the talented young chefs and their unique dishes. No matter that Chef Angelo did not win the competition, his participation will have have been an unforgettable experience for him, which can only enhance his culinary skills and confidence.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio. Cell 0825511323.  Twitter: @WhaleCottage


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