Fáilte Ireland, in partnership with BIM, are currently hosting a Food Tourism road trip to the South East, taking in food producers in the region, as part of an overall prize for the Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year. Among the finalists on the trip is Micheál Harley, originally from Letterkenny and currently responsible for the pastry section at Rathmullan House, where he has worked since May 2010.
The best experience of Micheal’s life to date was receiving a scholarship to renowned Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island. Micheál is mentored by Rathmullan Euro-toques Head Chef Kelan McMichael. He is a graduate of School of Tourism Killybegs (LYIT) and did his work experience in Harvey’s Point.
Fáilte Ireland’s involvement reflects a recognition of the importance of culinary skills in building Ireland’s national and international food reputation and the pivotal role that ‘local food’ plays in this and, above all, the commitment to education and development in this sector.
Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year is the only professional culinary competition in the country based around local and artisan food ingredients. Through mentoring and training, the competition aims to contribute to the professional development of promising young industry professionals.
Taking part in the Fáilte Ireland Food Tourism Road Trip are overall winner Kamil Dubanik from Knockranny House Hotel, Westport; and other finalists Aisling Gallagher, Ballynahinch Castle, Galway; Kyle Greer, No 27 Talbot Street, Belfast; Micheal Harley, Rathmullan House, Co. Donegal; and David Magaeen, Restaurant Victoria Belfast. Finalist Margaret Roche, originally from Carlow, is currently working in London and was unable to accompany the group.
The educational 4 day food-focused trip, which was organised by Fáilte Ireland, includes master classes with Michael Quinn, Waterford Castle and Paul Flynn, The Tannery; visits to artisan food producers in Waterford, Wexford and Kilkenny with tastings and demos; unique meal experiences in a range of restaurants and cafés, and overnight stays with exemplary Irish food and hospitality operators.