Chef Collab pairs up-and-coming chefs with Ireland’s top chefs to create a culinary experience like no other. The ethos of the programme is simple – to give apprentice chefs of all levels the opportunity to train, cook, and thrive alongside experienced professionals in a fun and relaxed environment.
As part of the programme, the apprentice chefs spend time in their mentor’s kitchens, learning new skills and working together to create a dish. Each pair then cooks and serves their creation at the Chef Collab event, resulting in a multi-course dining experience created by some of Ireland’s best chefs and up-and-coming talent.
The experience demonstrates that cheffing can be a valid and motivating career path when fuelled by creativity, passion, and respect. Chad has designed the programme to show how the kitchen can be professional and fun, and bring incredible satisfaction and rewards for aspiring young chefs.
When asked what sets Chef Collab apart from other culinary events, Chad said it’s all about forgetting the rules, breaking down barriers and getting back to basics.
“We throw the rule book away – no table-plan, Viking-style dining, one fork, knife, and spoon for the entire event, we cook in front of the guests, the chefs serve the food, and we have banging music on. It’s totally interactive with no barriers between chefs and guests. A fun-filled, no frills, unbelievable experience and the feel-good factor is through the roof. I think the best way to put it is – it’s a no holds barred, rock ‘n’ roll culinary event. It sounds crazy, but it works better than any pop-up I’ve been to.”
The Irish Hotel Federation has been a great support. La Rousse foods have been with us from the start and have an ethos that is very much aligned with what we do at Chef Collab. They are the biggest supporter of Irish artisan producers which is key to what we do – promoting local and supporting each other.”
“Every Collab seems to be getting more and more traction and every event has been a sell-out. In fact, our last event sold out in four hours. I think it’s down to the positivity and good vibes which surround our events. We cook for the right reasons and it shows. We do it for the pure love of the craft.”
Of course, the success of Chef Collab goes much deeper than selling out events.
The event has succeeded in dispelling the myth that top-class kitchens must be driven by machismo and aggression. Every sell-out event is another step towards proving that quality food can be created in a fun and relaxed environment. Another step towards challenging a deep-seated belief system that has been incredibly destructive to the industry. A huge stride towards empowering young chefs to believe in their industry again and become the future head chefs of Ireland.
Chef Collab is an event fuelled by compassion for up-and-coming chefs, a love of the craft, and a deep desire to make a difference. Chad has stripped back all the frills and formalities that typically accompany fine dining to shine a light on the incredible talent of Ireland’s top chefs of tomorrow. He is reminding us that cheffing is not about shouting, hostility, and intense competition. Great chefs are motivated by creativity, shared experiences, support for one another, and a genuine love of fantastic food.
We’re excited to see what the future holds for this one!
“Next up, we have15th July in Cork, then on to Dublin, Belfast, and London. There’s no stopping us or slowing us down. This is set to be one of the biggest events on the culinary calendar, with a big surprise coming near the end of the year!”
The next Chef Collab event takes place on 15th July at Olivio Italian Eatery in Cork. The line up includes chefs JP McMahon, Marguerite Keogh, Alberto Rossi, James Coffey, James Sheridan, and Pam Kelly, alongside some exceptional up-and-coming talent. Grab your tickets on Eventbrite now!