S.Pellegrino Young Chef UK and Ireland Finalists: Łukasz Wącirz and Romuald Bukaty

The Staff Canteen

Today, ten chefs will compete for the title of S.Pellegrino Young Chef in the UK and Ireland final held at Waitrose Cookery School and judged by Claude Bosi, Ollie Dabbous, Ross Lewis and JP McMahon. We take a closer look at the finalists and find out why they chose to to enter the competition. Today we speak to Łukasz Wącirz and Romuald Bukaty.

Łukasz Wącirz, Llangoed Hall, Brecon

Job role: chef de partie

A short round up of your background in cooking.

Before llangoed hall I was working in Poland as a Sous Chef in 5* hotel - Marine & Ultra marine hotel in Kolobrzeg where I stayed for little over a year. A head hunter then got in contact and gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse for me and my wife. I have been working in the kitchen for the last 10 years and can’t imagine my life without cooking. 

Who influences you most in cooking?

My biggest idol is Thomas Keller because of his way of cooking which is done through amazing passion and his love for food. But also Esben Holmboe Bang, head chef of Maaemo because of the same important things for me – cuisine that is full of nature and using traditional ingredients in dishes.

How are you feeling about the competition?

I am very happy because of the next step in San Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 competition. It is really important for me to show the whole world that Polish products are amazing and our cuisine can compete with all other worldwide cuisines. I will do my best to get to the next step, there will be many very good chefs and I am sure the competition will be amazing and all chefs will meet the challenge and I can't wait to be part of that.

>>> Read more about the S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition here


Why did you enter the competition?

I entered the competition because I want to show the whole world how amazing our products and dishes are. Our dishes are traditional but with using a new method of cooking and with my original style. I choose 16 products from the government list which are traditional and ethnically unique. All 16 products represent 16 polish regions. I will use all the ingredients to create the dish which will give an amazing tour of Polish cuisine.

What are your ambitions in cooking?

The most important thing for me in the future is to open my own small restaurant with my original cuisine where I can put all my love and passion into my food and create dishes that make me happy.

Romuald Bukaty, Avenue by Nick Munier, Dublin

Job role: chef de partie

A short round up of his background in cooking

Originally from Russia, Roma Bukaty is affectionately nicknamed ‘baby of the Avenue’. Roma has an extensive culinary repertoire despite his young years having worked in a variety of restaurants in Dublin.

Roma brings a fresh and innovative approach to the culinary offerings at Avenue and a passion for delivering exceptional quality of food to our diners.

Roma's claim to fame (or shame as the case may be!) is that he once auditioned for a part as an extra in VIKINGS! Despite his acting talent and boyish good looks (Roma's words not ours!) stardom via the acting stratosphere was not meant to be - however, his drive, passion, personality and determination to succeed will ensure that Avenue by Nick Munier grows from strength to strength.

Why did you enter the San Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year Contest?

Having seen Mark Moriarty win the competition last year and having worked with a very young dynamic team in the kitchen at Avenue by Nick Munier under my head chef David Ryan, it inspired me to want to take part and hopefully succeed in progressing in such a prestigious and highly respected competition.

Working with someone as respected in the industry as Nick Munier has given me the confidence to improve my skill set and believe in my own abilities. At Avenue we place our emphasis on showcasing seasonal fresh produce from award winning suppliers - we like to create innovating and inspiring dishes for our guests without being pretentious. This was my ultimate inspiration for my chosen dish which I have called ‘Symphony of the sea.’

What is your dish and why did you choose it?

My Dish ‘Symphony of the sea’ - a fusion of  flavours and cooking techniques complimenting some of my favourite ingredients including Pan smoked sea trout with shallot and clam cream , crushed potatoes, beetroot foam, truffle salsify and capers. My original plan was to showcase sustainable fish by incorporating Irish Perch to this recipe but due to the lack of availability of fresh Irish Perch we decided to go for a more sustainable fish offering by promoting the somewhat overlooked Sea Trout.

We maximized the flavours of this amazing fish by using an original cooking technique of lightly curing and pan smoking the sea trout which complimented the produce immensely. I am extremely proud of my dish and to showcase it at the San Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year Competition.



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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 21st June 2016

S.Pellegrino Young Chef UK and Ireland Finalists: Łukasz Wącirz and Romuald Bukaty