The finals of the Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year competition, presented by La Rousse Foods, were held on Sunday, October 8th, at the professional kitchens of Dublin Cookery School in Blackrock. The winner of this year’s competition is Shauna Murphy from Terre Restaurant in Castlemartyr Resort, a young chef mentored by chef Angelo Vagiotis. 

Shauna Murphy was announced as the winner of the Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year 2023 competition at a gala dinner held on Sunday evening at the Intercontinental Hotel in Dublin. The final skills test required the six remaining contestants to devise two original dishes – a main course featuring Irish brown crab and lobster and an original starter or dessert using Velvet Cloud yogurt. The six finalists – Adam Walsh (1826 Adare), Conor Morrissey (Glovers Alley), Leticia Miranda (Mae Restaurant), Marcell Palfalusi (Thyme Restaurant), Matthias Beuque (Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud) and Shauna Murphy (Terre Restaurant) – demonstrated their culinary skills and palate by presenting creative and carefully-designed dishes for the judges to taste, taking inspiration from Irish traditions and heritage, while combining it with the diversity of today’s modern kitchen.  

The candidates for the Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year 2023 competition cooked in front of five judges, including chefs Paolo Casagrande of three-Michelin star Lasarte in Barcelona, Anna Haugh of Myrtle in London, Ahmet Dede of two-Michelin star dede in Baltimore, Co. Cork, Gareth Mullins of Anantara The Marker Dublin, and Euro-Toques Commissioner General Kwanghi Chan. The kitchen was run by judges Domini Kemp (Valence Hospitality), Conor Halpenny (The Square), and Aishling Moore (Goldie).  

The young chefs had two and a half hours of focused cooking time to create their two dishes incorporating Irish brown crab, lobster, and Velvet Cloud yogurt and reflecting the Euro-Toques philosophy of local, artisanal, and seasonal ingredients. They were marked under three separate categories: execution and work practice, taste and flavour, and presentation.  

Shauna Murphy of Terre restaurant mentored by chef Angelo Vagiotis won the overall Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year 2023 competition with a main course of BBQ lobster with vanilla brown butter bisque reduction and citrus carrot purée, served with a side of barley with lemongrass foam and crispy carrot and a dessert of Date pudding with Velvet Cloud sheep yogurt ice cream, burnt apple, hazelnuts and whiskey caramel, impressing the judges with flair, imagination, and skill in execution. 

The Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year competition 2023 started in April and guided the young chefs through a culinary journey that culminated with yesterday’s final and gala dinner at the Intercontinental Hotel.  

The Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year competition is Ireland’s premier culinary competition celebrating Ireland’s best emerging culinary talent. Together with fine food specialists and official partners La Rousse Foods, Euro-Toques Ireland have designed educational activities that highlight the importance of community and support in the Irish food industry. Local producers and chefs work together, sharing expertise and products and supporting each other in all their endeavours – a pivotal part of this industry. 

Since the beginning of the competition in April, the finalists had an incredible journey which included a trip to West Cork and London. During their time in West Cork, they visited various locations and participated in different activities. They spent a day with renowned fish smoker Sally Barnes of Woodcock Smokery to learn about the ancient tradition of preserving food. They also visited Liss Ard Estate and The Irish Sky Garden by James Turrell. A highlight of their trip was dinner at Baltimore’s 2-Michelin star restaurant, dede, where Chef Ahmet Dede showcased his unique take on fine dining, blending local produce with his Turkish heritage. The next day, they visited Lough Hynes and some of West Cork’s finest producers, Madeline McKeever of Brown Envelope Seeds, and Bradley Putze of Lisheen Greens, for an insight into chemical-free seeds and vegetable production. They also visited Fingal Ferguson’s family farm, Gubbeen, where they learned about cheese, charcuterie, and knife making. In London, they had a lavish lunch at Dysart Petersham, designed by Michelin-starred chef Kenneth Culhane, who is a Roux Scholar and member of the JRE- Jeunes Restaurateurs. The finalists also attended the prestigious annual Euro-Toques Food Awards and will attend the international symposium Food on The Edge in October. 


At the gala dinner hosted by the Intercontinental the courses were created by a stellar group of chefs who support the organization, including canapés from chef Dervilla O’Flynn (Ballymaloe House), a starter from chefs Dan Hannigan (Orwell Road) and Conor Halpenny (The Square), a fish course from chef Mark Moriarty, a main course from chef Danni Barry (Ballynahinch Castle), and dessert from Jack Lenards (Firehouse Bakery). The all-island cheese board was served with honey and crackers, while local producers and suppliers, selected by the Euro-Toques Food Council, were prominently featured on the menu, including Coolatin cheddar, Dooncastle oysters, Durrus cheese, Grá chocolates, Gubbeen cured meats, Iona Farm vegetables, Isle of Crackers cheese crackers, Killahoura Orchards wines, Meadowfield Farm, Olly’s farm honey, Skeaghanore duck, Dart Mountain cheese, Velvet Cloud, Wicklow sika deer, Wildwood balsamics, and Ballymakenny Farm. The wines were provided by partners JN Wines. 

Guest chef Paolo Casagrande of three-Michelin star Lasarte in Barcelona announced this year’s Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year, calling Shauna Murphy to the stage to receive the trophy, designed by chef Kevin Thornton. 

Speaking at the gala dinner in the Intercontinental last night Manuela Spinelli, Head of Community, people & culture of Euro-Toques Ireland said, “We would like to congratulate Shauna on winning the Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year 2023 presented by La Rousse Foods. It’s inspiring to see that many young chefs who take part in the competition journey remain involved with the community. Many former winners and finalists, who now have successful careers, were present at the Gala, contributing to the success of this year’s events. This, together with the support of chef members is a true testament to the communal sentiment that sees Euro-Toques Ireland grow from strength to strength”. 

Head of the Young Chef Committee, Gareth Mullins, Executive chef at Anantara The Marker Hotel Dublin commented, “I’d like to thank all the participating chefs, the guest chefs, restaurants and mentors, producers and suppliers, and our presenting partner La Rousse Foods. The objective of the community is to foster young talent while preserving Irish culinary heritage. The Young Chef competition is the highest-calibre contest for professional young chefs in Ireland and seeing another successful year come full circle with a worthy winner is a great achievement for the organisation”.  

Open to professional chefs under the age of 28, the competition has a proven track record in discovering exceptional young talent, giving all the young chefs who have taken part this contest a unique experience, providing recognition throughout Ireland and beyond, and acting as a prestigious stepping-stone in their culinary career.