Irish Student Chef Wins Gold And Silver Medals At Young Chef Olympiad 2019
The year may still be young, but 2019 has already proven to be momentous for prospective chef Ryan Malone, who succeeded in earning himself two accolades at the 5th annual Young Chef Olympiad competition in January.
Currently in his final year of studying culinary arts at Dublin Institute of Technology, Malone's well-honed food preparation skills secured him a gold medal for "Young Chef Ambassador" at the event as well as a silver medal in the competition's "Cook Off" category.
Said on its website to have been founded with a vision "to bring the world closer via food, as food unites people", Young Chef Olympiad was first held in India in 2015 and has since become a major international showcase for the talents of young chefs from all around the world.
Student chefs from more than 55 countries competed in this year's competition, which took place over the course of five days across the Indian cities of New Delhi, Bangalore, Pune and Kolkata.
"Take Advantage Of Any Opportunities That Are Presented To You"
Talking to Hospitality Ireland about how he became involved in Young Chef Olympiad 2019, Malone explained, "One of my college mentors e-mailed me regarding the Young Chef Olympiad, asking whether I would be interested in taking part, and, without any hesitation, I said yes. My rule is, 'take advantage of any opportunities that are presented to you, because if you do not take advantage of them, you will never know what you can achieve, and you may never be presented with them again.' Looking back at the whole experience involving Young Chef Olympiad, I would not change a single moment. I trained long and hard for it."
Commenting on his accomplishment at this year's Young Chef Olympiad, Malone affirmed, "It’s a great honour to be awarded these medals at this level."
"Timing And Speed"
When it came to preparing for the competition, the aspiring chef was aided by his mentor, culinary arts lecturer George Smith. Malone asserted, "What I learned from my mentor, George Smith, was is that when it comes to a competition like Young Chef Olympiad, it all has to do with timing and speed, because as soon as the clocks starts, it’s all about timing and speed. The clock is not your friend. George also gave me confidence and the courage in myself to go into the kitchen and cook my heart out."
Inspiration And Training
Reflecting on what made him decide that a career in the culinary arts was right for him, the aspiring chef told Hospitality Ireland, "I've had the idea of being a chef, or working in some area of the food industry, in the back of my mind ever since I was eight years old, because my mother used to cater for events and parties, even though that wasn't her job. When I was 14, my mother got me my first job in a hotel kitchen as a porter, which gave me an insight into how a kitchen works and what a life in the food business is like. I worked as a porter for around three years, almost every Saturday and Sunday. Then, when I was 18 years old, I enrolled in a chef course at Dublin Institute of Technology.
"During my first year in college, I was put forward to take part in a competition for the National Manor Farm Chicken Competition, the goal of which was to create a healthy and nutritious chicken dish within 20 minutes, and I ended up winning first prize. I also did a placement in Michelin-starred restaurant Chapter One during my time in the chef course. On my final day, I was asked to watch dinner service in the kitchen and I got to see 11 or 12 chefs cooking in sync. It was like poetry in motion, seeing chefs do what chefs do, and that’s when I decided to be a professional chef."
A Desire To Learn And Incite Smiles With Food
Proceeding to discuss what he envisions for his future when it comes to the culinary arts, Malone proclaimed, "I have a desire to learn new skills, in preparing, cooking and plating food dishes. One of my biggest culinary influences is Thomas Keller. I have always admired the philosophy of Thomas Keller as a chef, restaurateur, and writer. Since I was 16 years old, my dream has been to train and work at The French Laundry as a chef. All of my mentors at college have helped to enhance my knowledge of the craft of cooking, including in relation to the history of food, cooking techniques and why chefs cook. As a chef, I want to nurture people through food and make people happy, because, for me, that is what makes me happy and drives me to keep going and get better and better as a chef."
© 2019 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.