Mark Moriarty from The Culinary Counter crowned UK & Ireland Winner of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 Competition. On Tuesday 24th February 2015, a panel of the UK’s leading chefs – who hold five Michelin stars between them – named Mark Moriarty from The Culinary Counter as the best emerging chef talent from the UK & Ireland at a live cook-off for the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 competition, held at the prestigious Harrods of London.

Mark Moriarty has been selected as one of 20 global finalists, chosen from 3,620 chefs across 191 countries, and will represent the UK & Ireland in the final showdown at Expo Milan in June 2015.

Pellegrino_Chef_11Following a tough decision, Moriarty was chosen with his winning dish of Celeriac Baked in Barley and Fermented Hay with Cured and Smoked Celeriac inspired by Mark’s love of a humble ingredient taking centre stage. Mark loves food to have a theatre and interaction and this was certainly the case with his celebration of Celeriac.  Starting out as a young creative with a love of food, cooking was a way for Mark to combine his two passions and bring to life his creative visions in the form of incredible food.

Pellegrino_Chef_8The judging panel of four acclaimed chefs – Clare Smyth MBE, Chef Patron at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Atul Kochhar, Chef Patron at Benares, Dan Doherty, Executive Chef at Duck & Waffle and Oliver Dunne, owner of Bon Appétit – agonizingly tasted and deliberated over signature dishes of 10 up-and-coming chefs from the UK & Ireland during a nail biting event lasting over four hours.

Judge Clare Smyth (who holds three Michelin stars) said:  “The calibre of dishes we tasted tonight was really impressive but Mark’s dish stood out with its flavour, unforgettable theatre and true message behind his dish.”

Mark Moriarty now faces the ultimate test in Milan, where he will be mentored by Clare Smyth, who will guide him through the intricate process of honing his signature dish.

Clare Smyth continues: “I’m honoured to be part of S.Pellegrino’s global search to find the best young chef talent in the world of fine dining and am looking forward to helping Mark perfect his dish before the final in Milan – I think the UK & Ireland can win this!”

Pellegrino_Chef_5Moriarty says: “I’m absolutely thrilled to win the S.Pellegrino UK & Ireland Young Chef title and am very excited to represent the UK and Ireland in Milan.  S.Pellegrino has given me such a fantastic opportunity to get trained by some of the best chefs in the world, as well as put my name on a global stage.   The final be a great opportunity to meet other young chefs from across the globe and I will do my best to impress  – I will do the UK & Ireland proud.”

Teaming up with a young designer chosen by Vogue Italia who will interpret his dish in fashion, Mark’s efforts will be judged by a panel at the Milan final that reads like a who’s who of contemporary gastronomy: Joan Roca, Massimo Bottura, Gaston Acurio, Yoshihiro Narisawa, Yannik Alleno, Margot Janse and Eric Ripert.