S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy and Gucci Osteria together to support young talents

The international platform and the fashion house launch a partnership to support the careers of young cooks. Under the careful eye of Massimo Bottura

22-09-2022
by Gabriele Zanatta
The protagonists of the dinner, on Tuesday 13th Se

The protagonists of the dinner, on Tuesday 13th September at Gucci Osteria in Florence: Takahiko KondoKarime LópezMassimo Bottura and Jerome Ianmark Calayag, winner of the 2021 S.Pellegrino Young Chef 

S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy and Gucci Osteria sign a pact to support young talents in the kitchen. A partnership that will take shape starting in 2023, when the Young Chefs selected by the Academy will be able to acquire experience in each one of the 4 Osterie opened by Gucci and Massimo Bottura around the world (in Florence, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Seoul). In the meantime, Karime Lopez and Takahiko Kondo, co-executive chefs at the restaurant in Florence, will develop some training projects specifically meant for the young #SPYC talents.

The news arrives on a beautiful day in Florence, spent in Piazza della Signoria, the location of Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura and Gucci Garden, a space that until the end of September is hosting an exhibition on multiple floors dedicated to all the collections of Alessandro Michele, the brilliant creative director of the fashion house since 2015.

After the aperitivo in the shade of Palazzo Vecchio, we all dined, celebrating the renewed partnership. Lopez and Kondo were the authors of the menu. With them, 25-year-old Jerome Calayag from the Philippines, winner of the fourth and fifth edition (2021) of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef, the global highly competitive contest in which young talents from around the world participate. The director supervising everything was Massimo Bottura, beaming as usual and ready «to thank S.Pellegrino for the great support shown to fine dining over the years».

Massimo Bottura and Jerome Ianmark Calayag

Massimo Bottura and Jerome Ianmark Calayag

Kondo and Lopez, spouses and co-executive chefs at Gucci Osteria

Kondo and Lopez, spouses and co-executive chefs at Gucci Osteria

U Tacu, the reconstruction of a taco with a sauce of taco, avocado and raw and tempura prawns

U Tacu, the reconstruction of a taco with a sauce of taco, avocado and raw and tempura prawns

Special note: the playlist of the night was created by the cook from Modena: «I chose among 1300 jazz songs, especially from the Thirties and Forties. A current that to me only has one exception: Bob Dylan». In the meantime, they were serving dishes inspired by Emilia, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, Sweden (Calayag cooks at Portal in Stockholm).

We will long remember U Tacu, a “liquid” transposition of a black corn taco with avocado and prawns in two textures. The word kroppkaka, a traditional dumpling of Nordic tradition that Calayag boiled and transformed into a container of Jerusalem artichokes, artichokes and braised onions. The dessert La Schiacciatina e l’uva, a tribute to Joseph Beuys, an artist who is a constant source of inspiration for Bottura. And finally, the masterpiece served as dessert, Anguilla in carrozza, eel glazed in saba with a pumpkin tortello on the side, perfectly rolled by Kondo. «It’s as if my mum, Maria Luigia, were meeting the glazed eel from Francescana», Bottura summed up.

All around, the team of waiters coordinated by the excellent maître Damiano Barbato moved like clockwork. And we appreciated the new dining room at Gucci Osteria, with a décor whose beauty made it difficult to tell the container from the content.
Kroppkaka (traditional Swedish dumpling made with boiled potatoes) filled with Jerusalem artichoke, braised onions and black truffle, a dish from Jerome Calayag, from restaurant Portal in Stockholm, Sweden

Kroppkaka (traditional Swedish dumpling made with boiled potatoes) filled with Jerusalem artichoke, braised onions and black truffle, a dish from Jerome Calayag, from restaurant Portal in Stockholm, Sweden

For dessert, Anguilla in carrozza, eel glazed in saba sided by a magnificent pumpkin tortello

For dessert, Anguilla in carrozza, eel glazed in saba sided by a magnificent pumpkin tortello

A fragment of the show open since May 2021 at Gucci Garden, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the fashion house. The closing date at the end of September will probably be postponed

A fragment of the show open since May 2021 at Gucci Garden, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the fashion house. The closing date at the end of September will probably be postponed