S.Pellegrino announces the much-anticipated return of S.Pellegrino Young Chef, a global competition recognizing leading young culinary talent from across the world. The third edition, with applications opening on February 1, 2017, will feature various novelties aimed to provide contestants with further opportunities to demonstrate and strengthen their skills, while gaining valuable visibility.
The contest will now take place over a span of 18 months, with this next edition lasting from 2017 to 2018. The upcoming year will include preliminary selection rounds and the local competitions, followed by the Grand Finale in June of 2018, where finalists will compete for the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 title. The extended duration will allow candidates more time to work side by side their assigned Chef Mentors to improve their signature dishes and refine their skill set in preparation for the finals.
Winners of S.Pellegrino Young Chef are presented with the extraordinary opportunity to gain global visibility and a significant professional boost, as well as the chance to take part in several of the brand’s annual events around the world, including but not limited to those related to the Young Chef competition. “It is a great honor to be named S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016,” said S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 winner, Mitch Lienhard of the United States. “The experience has provided many unforgettable moments so far, and I am thankful for the impact the title will have in my career. I look forward to continuing my work with S.Pellegrino to help find the culinary world’s best new talent and serving as a mentor to future competitors.” Among previous winners of the competition is Ireland-based S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015, Mark Moriarty.
To broaden the range and accessibility of the talent scouting, a new region, “Central America–Caribbean” has been added to the competition’s list of included geographic regions, now comprised of 21 different areas from all corners of the world. In addition, applications will now be accepted in English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, French and Italian. All candidates are required to understand and speak English, as it is the official language of the competition.
Over the course of the contest – which last year, attracted over 3,000 applicants – 70 top chefs will be involved as jurors in the local competitions, 21 young chefs from 21 different geographic areas will be selected as semifinalists, and 21 Chef Mentors will be assigned individually to the young chefs, providing guidance throughout their exceptional journey.
The global competition includes a distinguished panel of judges, known as the Seven Sages, which is comprised of some of the most celebrated culinary masters of the world, who are responsible for deciding the winner of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 at the finals in Milan, Italy.
S.Pellegrino Young Chef is a global competition realized in four phases:
PHASE I – Online Application (February 2017 – April 2017)
From February 1 to April 30, 2017, any young chef in the world will have the opportunity to submit an application and their signature dish at www.sanpellegrino.com. Applying chefs must be 30-years-old or younger and have at least one year of experience working in a restaurant as a chef, sous chef or chef de partie. The complete list of competition requirements will be available on the application website.
PHASE II – Global Shortlist (June 1, 2017)
All qualified candidates will be divided into 21 regions* according to their geographic origin. Submissions will then be evaluated by ALMA, the world’s leading international educational and training centre for Italian Cuisine (www.alma.scuolacucina.it), which will select the top 10 semifinalists for each geographic region, according to five “Golden Rules”:
a. INGREDIENTS: Ability to select the best ingredients that the market can offer in terms of quality, freshness and uniqueness, in order to achieve an excellence of taste.
b. SKILL: Ability to work with raw materials and turn them into a dish that respects their original essence.
c. GENIUS: Ability to explore new, challenging, and innovative perspectives in relation to the culture of fine cuisine with a personal and contemporary style, while maintaining a perfect equilibrium of taste.
d. BEAUTY: Dish presentation, giving an aesthetic enhancement of its contents.
e. MESSAGE: Ability to communicate a clear message through one's work and vision.
PHASE III – Local Challenges (June 7th – December 2017)
The ten selected semifinalists of each of the 21 geographic areas will compete in a Local Semifinals round, where live competitions will be held in each region from June 7 to December 31. During these events, the semifinalists will cook their signature dishes for an exclusive regional jury, composed of independent top chefs who will evaluate the presented dishes based on the five Golden Rules and select a winner.
By the end of December 2017, the 21 Young Chefs from around the globe will be announced as the official finalists, who will move on to the world finals in Milan, Italy. Each finalist will be assigned a “Mentor Chef” (a member of their regional jury), who will provide guidance on how to improve their signature dishes and support them in their preparation for the finals.
PHASE IV – S.Pellegrino Young Chef Finals (June 2018)
In June 2018, the 21 Young Chef finalists will gather in Milan for the Grand Finale event, hosted by S.Pellegrino. The chefs will compete for the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 title, with the winner selected by the international Seven Sages panel of judges.
The complete contest regulations and application form will be available on www.sanpellegrino.com
Follow the competition on social media via the hashtag #SPYoungChef.
*THE 21 GEOGRAPHIC REGIONS
7. Russia/CIS (ex-Soviet Union)
9. East Europe
11. Mediterranean Countries
14. Africa-Middle East
15. Central America–Caribbean
16. South America
17. Pacific (Australia/NZ/Pacific Islands)
20. North-East Asia
21. South-East Asia
This article is curated by Identità Golose, the publication that organises the international fine dining congress, publishes website www.identitagolose.com and the online Guida Identità Golose, on top of curating many other events in Italy and abroad