Saving the planet with food – European Young Chef Award 2018

With the aim of raising awareness on the vital role that local food and cultural diversity play in all our regions, finalists in the European Young Chef Award 2018 became today IGCAT Regional Chef Ambassadors. The award was presented by IGCAT Board member and Head of Department for Culinary Arts at GMIT, Jacinta Dalton and IGCAT President, Diane Dodd in recognition of their commitment to the common goal of adopting more environmentally, ethically, socially, culturally and economically sustainable food production and consumption practises. The Young Chefs joined the IGCAT Regional Chef Ambassadors network that gathers European Young Chef Award finalists since its first edition in 2016.

In order to be part of the network, the Young Chefs agree to champion IGCAT’s philosophy and values such as to promote local food products and gastronomic traditions in a sustainable way throughout their future careers. In particular, they commit to: highlight wholesome foods and healthy eating habits; support innovation and creative culinary experiences; endorse opportunities to link rural and urban environments, stress the importance of traditional agriculture and food production methods; encourage stronger synergies between all stakeholders involved in the food and hospitality supply chains; and advocate for the promotion of local products in the regions’ hotels and restaurants.

After signing the agreement, the Young Chefs heated up GMIT’s kitchens to prepare traditional recipes from their regions and to share knowledge about local food varieties and gastronomic traditions. This first cooking round served as a warm up for finalists to compete with innovative dishes the following day, when a jury of international experts chaired by Irish chef JP McMahon select the winner of the European Young Chef Award 2018.  Both events are taking place at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology in Galway-West of Ireland, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2018.

The European Young Chef Award 2018 is a competition organised and promoted by IGCAT and hosted by Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) in Galway, Ireland. It counts on the support of world-wide renowned celebrity chef Joan Roca as Official Ambassador. The Award aims to promote innovations on traditional cuisine; highlight sustainable food cultures; and create future chef ambassadors for their regions and local food products.

About the European Region of Gastronomy

Candidate and awarded Regions of Gastronomy from Europe, guided by IGCAT, are working together to raise awareness about the importance of their cultural and food uniqueness and share the long-term aim to: promote a better quality of life in European regions; highlight distinctive food cultures; educate for better health and sustainability; nurture creativity; improve tourism standards; and stimulate gastronomic innovation.


IGCAT is a non-profit institute established in 2012, working with regional stakeholder consortiums in the fields of gastronomy, culture, arts and tourism. It counts on the expertise of a worldwide network of experts and works in partnership with specialised intergovernmental organisations.

IGCAT aims to empower local communities by guiding, facilitating, and supporting leaders in regions to understand the potential of their distinct food, culture, arts and sustainable tourism assets.

IGCAT provides the Region of Gastronomy Award and is the official secretariat for the European Region of Gastronomy Platform. Furthermore, the Institute has developed the European Young Chef Award the Local Food Gift Challenge, the Top Food Experiences of the Year and the Food Film Festivals project.