On 24 February,a panel of some of the UK’s leading chefs – who hold five Michelin stars between them – named Mark Moriartyfrom The Culinary Counteras the best emerging chef talent from the UK & Ireland at a live cook-off for theS.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015competition, held at the prestigious Harrods of London.

Mark Moriarty has been selected as one of 20 global finalists, chosen from 3,620 chefs across 191 countries, and will represent the UK & Ireland in the final showdown at Expo Milan in June 2015.

Following a tough decision, Moriarty was chosen with his winning dish ofCeleriac Baked in Barley and Fermented Hay with Cured and Smoked Celeriacinspired byMark’s love of a humble ingredient taking centrestage.Mark loves food to have a theatre and interaction and this was certainly the case with his celebration of celeriac. Starting out as a young creative with a love of food, cooking was a way for Mark to combine his two passions and bring to life his creative visions in the form of delicious food.

The judging panel of four acclaimed chefs –Clare Smyth MBE, Chef Patron at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay; , Chef Patron at Benares; , Executive Chef at Duck & Waffle and Oliver Dunne, owner of Bon Appétit– tasted and deliberated over signature dishes of 10 up-and-coming chefs from the UK & Ireland during the event lasting over four hours.

Judge Clare Smyth (who holds three Michelin stars) said:“The calibre of dishes we tasted tonight was really impressive but Mark’s dish stood out with its flavour, unforgettable theatre and true message behind his dish.”

Mark Moriarty now faces the ultimate test in Milan, where he will be mentored by Clare Smyth, who will guide him through the intricate process of honing his signature dish.

Moriarty says: “I’m absolutely thrilled to win the S.Pellegrino UK & Ireland Young Chef title and am very excited to represent the UK and Ireland in Milan.The final will be a great opportunity to meet other young chefs from across the globe and I will do my best to impress– I will do the UK & Ireland proud.”

Mark’s efforts will be judged by a panel at the Milan final that reads like a who’s who of contemporary gastronomy: , , , , , and .