Alanna Moffitt Discusses Her Success At World Young Chef Olympiad

By Emily Hourican
Alanna Moffitt Discusses Her Success At World Young Chef Olympiad

It was a memorable result for TU Dublin culinary arts student Alanna Moffitt at the recent tenth World Young Chef Olympiad. Moffitt was awarded the gold medal for her banqueting dish and silver medal in the Plate Trophy, and she also won the Best Young Rising Star Award.

In total student chefs from 60 countries competed in this prestigious international competition, which was run over a five-day period in India, taking place in five major cities: New Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Goa and Kolkata.

Moffitt talks to Hospitality Ireland about growing up in Blacklion, playing for local football team Shannon Gaels, and collecting vintage whiskey.

Can you tell us what winning these awards means to you?

Winning these prestigious awards means the world to me. I have worked extremely hard with my mentor, George Smith, practising for this competition. I love cooking. Therefore, receiving a reward for something I enjoy is extremely rewarding for me.


Tell us about the competition – what you had to do for each award.

This was a five-day competition, which was held in five cities across India. I had to compete in two heats, where I had larder tasks and a vegetarian dish to submit. As a result, I qualified for the Plate Trophy Final, in which I placed second – silver medal. For my classical Irish stew banquet dish, I received a gold medal. Finally, at the closing ceremony, I received a trophy for the Best Young Rising Star Award.

What was the hardest part?

I think what I found most difficult was the timing and getting to terms with the new equipment and environment which I had to cook in, but I feel [that being] stressed over the bumps and troubles will not help in the result, so a clear head always helps.

Tell us about your background– school, etc.


I come from a small town in West Cavan – Blacklion – where I grew up on a family farm. I attended my local primary school, Scoil Naomh Pádraig, and St Clare’s Comprehensive, Manorhamilton.

How did you first become interested in food and cooking?

I became interested in cooking at an early age. From my family growing up on a farm, I always had an interest in animals/food from my parents – also my grandmothers, Patricia and Bella, who were excellent bakers. Therefore, for transition year placement, I attended MacNean House and Restaurant, and to this day continue to work there part time. This has, [to the] utmost, helped in my cooking career.

What are your plans once you graduate?

I hope to travel and explore more cuisines across the world, after my wonderful experience in India. Long term, I hope to open my own business – hopefully in my family pub, Faley Mac’s, in Glenfarne [Co. Leitrim].


In what kind of food and cooking are you most interested?

Coming from a farm, I think you cannot beat local fresh produce or traditional Irish food.

What do you think of the state of the Irish food industry at the moment? What are the challenges/opportunities?

We have a such a high quality of beef and lamb in our country that we should be immensely proud of.

What are your hobbies, other than food?


Other than being in the kitchen, I enjoy sport, especially playing for my local football team, Shannon Gaels. My dad and I collect vintage whiskey from time to time.

What is next for you in the next six to 12 months?

I am currently still in college and will be on placement from the end of March, which is exciting. Then I enter my final year in TU Dublin in September.