S.Pellegrino are on the hunt for their new Young Chef of the Year, and the closing date for applications is the end of the month, 31st March.
After seeing off over 3,000 applicants last year, Ireland’s own Mark Moriarty was crowned the inaugural winner of the competition, wowing the judges with his Celeriac Baked in Barley and Fermented Hay and Cured and Smoked Celeriac with Toasted Hay Tea.
He commented on his positive experience: “I was delighted and honoured to be named S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015. The journey was an unforgettable and one-off experience that I will never forget. I met so many fantastic chefs along the way and the title has made an incredible difference to my career as a whole.”
The scouting initiative involves over 100 top chefs around the world, acting as judges and mentors to the 20 regional finalists.
A panel of judges, the Seven Sages, makes the all important decision and this year’s jury includes some of the world’s most renowned culinary masters: David Higgs, Carlo Cracco, Gaggan Anand, Elena Arzak, Mauro Colagreco, Wylie Dufresne and Roberta Sudbrack.
The S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition has several phases:
Phase One – Online Application
Until March 31st, all young chefs across the globe will have the opportunity to submit their application here. Certain criteria applies, the complete list of requirements is available on the website.
Phase Two – Selection of Regional Shortlist
All candidates will be divided into 20 regions according to their geographic origin, and their submissions will be evaluated by ALMA, the world’s leading international educational and training centre for Italian Cuisine. Throughout the month of April, ALMA will select the first ten finalists for each region according to five Golden Rules: ingredients, skills, genius, beauty, and message.
Phase Three – Regional Finals
The ten finalists will move on to the Local Finals, where live competitions will be held in each region from May 1st to August 15th. During these events, the area finalists will have to cook their signature dishes for an exclusive regional jury composed of independent top chefs, who will taste the dishes and select the winner. The 2016 UK & Ireland judging panel includes fantastic chefs, such as Claude Bosi, Ollie Dabbous, Ireland’s JP McMahon of Aniar in Galway and Ross Lewis of Chapter One in Dublin.
By the end of August 2016, the 20 Best Regional Young Chefs from each region will be announced as the official finalists. Each finalist will be assigned a Mentor Chef: a member of the regional jury, who will provide the young chefs with suggestions to improve their signature dishes and to help them prepare for the global finals. The UK & Ireland mentor chef will be two Michelin starred chef and owner of Hibiscus, Claude Bosi.
Phase Four – Grand Finale
On October 13th 2016, all the Young Chef finalists will gather in Milan for the final phase, which will consist of a two-day intense cooking competition in front of the international panel of judges, the Seven Sages, who will award the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016.
The complete contest regulation and the application form is available here and applications close on March 31st.