IRISHMAN Mark Moriarty may only be 23-years-old – but he has already achieved a world title in the culinary industry.
The Dubliner was crowned the world’s best young chef at the prestigious San Pellegrino Young Chef awards 2015.
After wowing the judges in London at the preliminary rounds earlier this year, Mark qualified to represent the UK and Ireland region at the grand finale.
More than 3,000 applicants were whittled down to just three finalists, with Mark managing to take home the award last Friday, June 26.
His signature dish of celeriac baked in barley and fermented hay was the only vegetarian dish up for the scrutiny of the judges in Milan.
On the back of his whirlwind success, Mark tells The Irish Post his key things to know for up and coming young culinary aficionados…
If you know, you know
Cooking is something that you should click with. Mark’s passion for cooking actually came from his love of fishing in his parents’ native Ventry in Co. Kerry.
“I spent my summer holidays there and had a big interest in fishing and knowing what to do with the catch was the next step,” he said. “So then I used Transition Year in school to get experience and knew I wanted to be a chef after that.”
His teenage self was clearly on the money – Mark is now the proud co-founder of The Culinary Counter, an exciting new food concept to keep an eye out for around Dublin.
Get your face out there
When he had decided for sure that he wanted to spend his life in the kitchen, Mark put all his efforts into gaining experience.
Though just a teenager at the time, he decided to email the top ten restaurants in Dublin to gain experience – and ended up doing two weeks in some of Ireland’s top restaurants, including one run by celebrity chef Neven Maguire.
“A lot of it is down to the places and people I worked with and them seeing my passion and keeping it going,” Mark revealed.
You won’t have a 9-5 lifestyle
While it has certainly paid off now, Mark’s college years were stressful at times. In between his hours spent in the Dublin Institute of Technology library studying for his culinary arts exams, he held down an almost full-time job with Thorntons.
He would start in the kitchens at 5.30am and be in college for 12pm, where he would spend the remainder of the day.
You probably won’t want to cook at home
Cooking involves constant development but in a high pressure chef job your best bet is to leave your work where it belongs. After a long day in the kitchen, Mark prefers to relax at home.
“I usually come home and go straight to bed,” he laughed. “If I do cook, it’s a one-pot meal. I hate washing up!”
Have some get up and go!
Mark’s number one tip for anyone looking to forge a successful career in food is to get out there and do it for yourself.
“Young people – if you want to do it, you need to get yourself in to the best places for the best training,” he said. “At the end of the day, if you want to do it, do it!”
— Fine Dining Lovers (@FineDiningLover) June 26, 2015