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 the competition, which was held at Titanic Belfast on Tuesday 19th of September, a host of professional young waiters and chefs from Northern Ireland and 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 hotel Collection Gordon Smyth, Noel McMeel of Ebrington Hotel, and Adrian McNally, Titanic Hotel Belfast, part of the Harcourt Hotel Collection, 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.”
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