BIM’s Taste the Atlantic 2024 Young Chef

Pictured above – BIM’s 2024 Taste the Atlantic Young Chef Ambassadors: ( l-r) Charlie Ward, Aoife O’Donnell, Ian Harford, Anna O’Leary and Liam Britchfield. Photo: BIM

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency, is delighted to announce today, Wednesday 29 May 2024, the five promising young chefs who have been selected as Ambassadors for this years Taste the Atlantic, Young Chef Ambassador Programme.

The immersive BIM programme, in collaboration with Chef Network and Fáilte Ireland, is now in its fourth year. The ambitious Ambassadors will embark on a four-month programme to familiarise themselves with Irelands premium seafood and the people who produce it along the Wild Atlantic Way.

The chefs came together for their induction to the Ambassador programme, which will include visits to several seafood producers in Kerry, Cork and Galway to learn all about oyster and mussel farming, the art of seafood smoking, fish mongering skills and recipe creation.

The 2024 Taste the Atlantic Young Chef Ambassadors are:

Ian Harford, 24, from Rush in  Co. Dublin. Ian is currently Chef de Partie at Michelin-starred Aniar restaurant in Galway, where he has worked since January 2024. Ian is a committed chef who is passionate about promoting fishermen and farmers, whose work he feels is often underappreciated. 

Anna O’Leary, 22, from Kilmichael in West Cork. Anna is the Baker & Pastry Chef at The Fig & Olive in Clonakilty.  She also spends her time on her family’s farm where she grows her own herbs and vegetables and helps with their production of beef, lamb, chicken, eggs and honey.

Liam Britchfield, 24, from Wicklow Town. Liam is Chef de Partie at Bastible in Dublin. When Liam is not in the kitchen, the sea, coast , nature and food all play a central role in his life. He spends much of his time shore and kayak fishing and foraging on the East Coast, and has travelled and fished along the Wild Atlantic Way in Kerry and Donegal.

Aoife O’Donnell, 23, from Maghery, Co Donegal. Over the past three years she has worked at Danny Minnie’s in Annagry and is now their Fish Chef. Aoife wants to work to feature more local seafood on menus and give visitors and locals alike a real taste of Donegal.

Charlie Ward, 20, from Rathkeale, Co. Limerick. Charlie is Commis chef at the Mustard Seed in Ballinagarry, Co. Limerick. Combining his passion for sports and fitness with his love of all things culinary, Charlie would love to promote the pleasure and nutritional benefit of eating fish more to the young people in Ireland.

Following applications from all over Ireland, the appointed chefs are selected based on their applications, followed by an interview process. More information on each of the Chefs is in the editors notes below. The Taste the Atlantic Young Chef Ambassador Programme is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union, under the European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF).

ENDS

For further press information contact Mairéad Mallon, BIM, Mobile: 087 9197 312 Email: [email protected]

Pictured in the attached image – BIM’s 2024 Taste the Atlantic Young Chef Ambassadors ( l-r: Charlie Ward, Aoife O’Donnell, Ian Harford, Anna O’Leary and Liam Britchfield

 

Editor’s notes:

Ian Harford | 24 | From Rush, Co. Dublin | Chef de Partie, Aniar, Galway

Originally from Rush, Co. Dublin, 24-year-old Ian Harford’s determination to become a chef saw him emailing every Michelin-starred restaurant in the UK and Ireland looking to be taken on as a commis chef. As a result, he took up a role in the kitchen of renowned 21212 in Edinburgh straight after his leaving cert. He has continued to hone his trade in top kitchens ever since, including a stint at Dublin’s Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud. He is currently Chef de Partie at Michelin-starred Aniar restaurant in Galway, where he has worked since January 2024. Ian is a committed chef who is passionate about promoting seafood producers and farmers, whose work he feels is often underappreciated. The focus in Aniar is very much on local and sustainable sourcing, and Ian is eager to know more about where the seafood in their dishes comes from and how it is produced. Ian is passionate about bringing people joy through food and says “Food creates memories, it tells a story. I think in Ireland we have a great story to tell”. 

Anna O’Leary | 22 | from Kilmichael in West Cork | Baker & Pastry Chef, The Fig & Olive, Clonakilty

22-year-old Anna O’Leary hails from a farm in Kilmichael in West Cork, and has a passion for growing her own and self-sufficiency as well as a love of cooking and baking. She took her first steps into hospitality working as a kitchen assistant in the Auld Triangle, Macroom at the age of 15, and went on to work summers both front of house and in the kitchen at Gougane Barra Hotel. She discovered a love of the high pressure work environment and a drive for perfection in her work. Originally pursuing an academic route studying Nutrition and Health Science, her love of food drove her to transfer to Culinary Arts in MTU where she has just completed her second year, alongside working at The Fig & Olive in Clonakilty where she looks after baking and pastry. She also spends her time on her family’s farm where she grows her own herbs and vegetables and helps with their production of beef, lamb, chicken, eggs and honey. In her spare time she cooks and bakes at home, with a focus on creative ways to use what is available in season on the farm, and shares these activities on Instagram and TikTok. Being from West Cork, Anna feels connected with the seas as well as the land and wants to gain deeper knowledge of seafood production and its sustainability. 

Liam Britchfield | 24 | from Wicklow Town | Chef de Partie, Bastible, Dublin

Liam Britchfield, from Wicklow town, is aged 24 and graduated with a degree in Culinary Arts from TUD in 2022. But his love of the kitchen started long before this, working weekends in restaurants from the age of 15. His experience of working with seafood started young, working at restaurants like the Lighthouse in Wicklow and the Guinea Pig in Dalkey. His industry experience continued during his years in college, working at Lily’s in Wicklow town and Delahunt in Dublin. Upon graduation, Liam travelled to renowned food tourism destination Padstow to work at Paul Ainsworth at No.6 for nine months. Returning to Ireland, Liam took up his current position as Chef de Partie as Bastible, Dublin where he has worked for the past year. When Liam is not in the kitchen, the sea, coast , nature and food all play a central role in his life. He spends much of his time shore and kayak fishing and foraging on the East Coast, and has travelled and fished along the Wild Atlantic Way in Kerry and Donegal. Liam believes there is huge potential to enhance and promote seafood culture in Ireland in the same way he experienced during his time working, travelling and dining in Cornwall, and he is eager to play his part in discovering and shouting about our seafood producers.

Aoife O’Donnell | 23 | from Maghery, Co Donegal | Fish Chef at Danny Minnie’s, Annagry, Co. Donegal

Aoife O’Donnell, from Maghery in Donegal, is 23 and graduated from her Culinary Arts degree at ATU Killybegs in 2023. Over the past three years she has worked at Danny Minnie’s om Annagry throughout the tourist season, learning and working her way through the kitchen sections, first on starters, then desserts and now working the fish section. Alongside this, during the off-season Aoife has worked at a local café where she shared responsibility for the running of the kitchen. Aoife is proud of her Donegal heritage and believes there is huge potential for a stronger focus on local food and food tourism. She wants to work to feature more local seafood on menus and give visitors and locals alike a real taste of Donegal.

Charlie Ward | 20 | from Rathkeale, Co. Limerick | Commis Chef at the Mustard Seed, Ballinagarry, Co. Limerick

20 year-old Charlie Ward from Rathkeale, Co. Limerick has just finished his second year of Culinary Arts at TUS Limerick and is a Commis chef at the Mustard Seed in Ballinagarry, Co. Limerick. Charlie says he has always been drawn to the kitchen and has always known he wanted to be a chef, so started working in the hospitality sector as soon as he reached Transition Year. He gained experience working at the Woodlands House Hotel for several years, working his way through kitchens sections and gained skills in bistro, function, and outdoor outlets. For his college work placement he wanted to focus on fine dining which brought him to the Mustard Seed, where he has learned how to take quality local ingredients from their raw state to refined dish, and has gained significant experience working with seafood. Charlie is eager to gain a deeper understanding of the origins of the fish he works with, its production methods and sustainability. Combining his passion for sports and fitness with his love of all things culinary, Charlie would love to promote the pleasure and nutritional benefit of eating fish more to the young people in Ireland.

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