Aisling Rock, the contestant from the Galway Region (Ireland) has been the winner of the contest
The facilities of the Hotel-School of Sant Pol de Mar have hosted the final of the second edition of the European Young Chef Award 2017, organized and sponsored by IGCAT (International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism) and promoted by the Platform of the Europe of Gastronomy Region together with EUHT StPOL.
The event, whose ambassador is Joan Roca (3 Michelin stars and Best Cook of the World 2013 and 2015) has been realized with the aim of strengthening the links between the European Regions, through young international chefs where culinary innovation is promoted, gastronomic tradition and local products.
One of the most important moments of the contest took place during the morning, when the eight finalists of the competition have prepared and presented the dishes in front of the Jury. The objective, to innovate in the elaboration of traditional recipes of each region.
This year, the jury was formed by Rosa Mayordomo, Board Member of the Catalan Academy of Gastronomy and Nutrition, Carlos Fernandes of the Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, Cáit Noone of the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Ilona Sares Director of ProAgria North Savo, Argiro Barbarigou Chef of the Papadakis Restaurant and Lluís Serra, Executive Director of EUHT StPOL.
The contestant from the region of Galway (Ireland), Aisling Rock, has been the absolute winner of the European Young Chef Award with the dish “Mackerel, Pickle, Sheep Yoghurt”.
The protagonists of the competition were 8 young chefs, all between 18 and 28 years old, from the regions that participate in the Platform of the European Gastronomic Regions. They have participated with these dishes:
Aisling Rock – Galway
Traditional: Salted Mackerel with Root Vegetables and Potatoes
Innovation: Mackerel, Pickle, Sheep Yoghurt
Alin Barabancea – Sibiu
Traditional: Sheep stew with vegetables
Innovation: Sheep ballotin on vegetable flan and acidified onion sauce
Bon Sawatdee – North Braban
Innovation: Balkenbrij with local crayfish from waters in Brabant and an Asian twist
Davide Fiammenghi -East Lombardy
Traditional: Bolied salami with lentils and cornbread
Innovation: Cotechino cube on egg flip and shrimp with lentils cream
Josi Polso – Kuopio
Traditional: Mustikkakukko – Blueberry pie
Innovation: Blueberry Pie gone to forest
Pau Gabarró – Catalonia
Traditional: Sous vide rabbit loin with chestnuts, boletus and cod gut
Innovation: Roast rabbit loin with autumn flavors
Filip Matjaž – Slovenia
Traditional: Istrian Brodet
Innovation: Taste of the Slovenian sea
Spiros Kougios – South Aegean
Innovation: Secrets of the Aegean Sea
The day has ended with a celebratory lunch in which the members of the jury, the participants and the organization of the contest have evaluated the experience.
Finally, there have been a Round Table “Mentoring Young Chefs” where the participants have asked questions and have asked for advice to the guest chef and the winner of last year.
One of the advice that Argiro Barbarigou has given them has been to keep cooking forever. Although she recognizes that above all for women it is a difficult sector, she has encouraged them to fight for their aspirations: “my heart beats in the kitchen because it is where I want to be and this is the most important thing”.