A 23-year-old Dubliner has been named the world’s top young chef after winning the prestigious San Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year 2015 award.
Mark Moriarty (pictured), who is one of Ireland’s most exciting culinary talents, took out the title after he pipped Norwegian Christian Pettersen and Peruvian Maria Jose Jordan to the honour.
It was Moriarty's beautiful dish titled "Celeriac baked in barley and fermented hay with cured and smoked celeriac" that landed him the crown at a cook-off for 300 guests in Milan over the weekend.
He was mentored throughout the competition by Clare Smyth (MBE), chef patron of Restaurant G. Ramsay in London.
The winning dish wowed the international jury that boasted culinary greats Grant Achatz, Gastón Acurio, Yannick Alléno, Massimo Bottura, Margot Janse, Yoshihiro Narisawa, and Joan Roca.
Moriarty, who discovered his passion for cuisine cooking at the Chart House restaurant in Dingle when he was just 15, said that he was honoured to receive the prestigious accolade.
"I am honoured to receive this prestigious award and truly humbled by the experience," he said. "It has been a remarkable, one-in-a-lifetime opportunity that has enabled me to meet some incredible chefs, network and share our collective passion for food.
Top Italian chef Massimo Bottura complemented Mark on his win, saying: “I told him to keep his feet steadily on the ground and invited him to cook at Refettorio on Monday.” Refettorio is Bottura’s new project in Milan, where renowned chefs use the leftovers from EXPO to cook lunch and dinner for the poor. An experience as humble as the origins of the celeriac.