Alessandro Bergamo (Cracco in Galleria, Milan) and Antonia Klugmann (L'Argine a Vencò, Dolegna del Collio - Gorizia), respectively young chef and mentor of the third edition of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy. They came second, the best result ever for an Italian team
The news is from Saturday 31st: the 2021 edition of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy was won by Jerome Ianmark Calayag, Swedish chef originally from the Philippines. The close second place was won by Alessandro Bergamo, from Monza, at work at restaurant Cracco in Galleria, in Milan.
«I'm very happy with my performance», the young chef told Identità Golose right after the ceremony, «I showed that you can make an excellent dish with simple products. I'd like to thank Antonia Klugmann, with whom I worked very well. She helped me a lot. I could count on her in every moment».
The mentor and pupil, teacher and learner dynamic is perhaps one of the most fascinating in the competition. Soon before the edition was launched, we had asked the teacher and her pupil about their joint experience and the possibility of conveying knowledge in the kitchen. Some interesting ideas emerged.
How did your collaboration develop?
Klugmann: I had first tasted Better an egg today or a hen tomorrow, Alessandro's dish, two years ago, when colleague Riccardo Camanini passed me the baton of mentor – he had supported him until that moment. At the time I was in the jury and I loved the dish. It was very interesting from the beginning. From there we wondered how it could further evolve.
Bergamo: It's been a privilege and an honour to have Antonia by my side. Her experience, her palate and savoir faire made me feel at ease from the start and supported. In the end, it was like working next to a chef in a real kitchen: unless you have a point of reference, the restaurant can't go on.
Klugmann: I made it immediately clear that the dish was his and that in no way we had to change it so it would be closer to me. I believe that, if there's a feature that a young cook must acquire, it's the courage of having his own point of view, which is the most difficult task. It's the personal style of the chef that makes the difference. Alessandro immediately showed he's very serious, he focused in a very mature way on the goal. His dish had an incredible evolution, in terms of aesthetic cleanliness and technique, especially in his research of meat and of jus.
Bergamo: I'm thankful to Antonia because she never squashed my idea, she left me free to express myself, gave me useful tricks that can be passed on. Two very important elements.
Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso
Reviews, recommendations and trends from Italy, signed by all the authors of Identità Golose
born in Milan, 1973, freelance journalist, coordinator of Identità Golose World restaurant guidebook since 2007, he is a contributor for several magazines and teaches History of gastronomy and Culinary global trends into universities and institutes.
Antonia Klugmann: as always, her lecture at Identità Milano 2023 yesterday was very interesting. All photos are by Brambilla-Serrani
Antonia Klugmann in a portrait by Tanio Liotta right outside the kitchen at L'Argine, in Friuli
The protagonists of the dinner, on Tuesday 13th September at Gucci Osteria in Florence: Takahiko Kondo, Karime López, Massimo Bottura and Jerome Ianmark Calayag, winner of the 2021 S.Pellegrino Young Chef