In order to help you with your application for the 2016 competition, I’ll give you some tips coming from my previous experience as S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 winner.
In the third part of these guides I’ll be offering up my suggestions on how to make sure you score highly in the field of ‘Genius’.
1 - Tell a story, all the dishes I do I think back - because I’m Irish - what did my Granny make? It’s actually harder in Ireland because there’s not a food culture. You have to sell yourself - it’s the most important art of genius.
2 - Creativity comes from trial and error - you try things out and 90% is bad but it might be an element of this that you pull apart and you find something really good. You have a long time to work on your dish, it will evolve as you go through the process.
3 - Try to do something that hasn’t been done before, it’s hard but think about it, be original.
4 - Have the confidence to put your neck on the line. You’re always working behind closed doors in this competition, so to have confidence to do something tableside, or crack open something or flambé, smoke or finish something - that for me is the genius of the competition, going beyond just a tasty dish.
5 - Taste the dish yourself, then forget about you eating it, find some people you trust and get some really constructive criticism. Anyone can do dish and it can be good but good isn’t good enough - push yourself. Be humble enough to listen to criticism, take it onboard and learn from it.