“If you want to become a great chef, you have to work with great chefs. And that’s exactly what I did.” – Gordon Ramsay
Paving the way for a new generation of gastronomists, the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Award is back for the third year to find the world’s best young chef.
Young chefs in Saudi Arabia, who are aged 30 or below with at least a year’s experience in a restaurant as a chef, sous chef or chef de partie, are invited to submit an application with their signature dish. The deadline for submitting entries in April 30th, 2017, so put your aprons on to flex your skills with your peers and gain from immense exposure.
What is even more exciting is that this year, the Middle East and Africa region semifinal event will take place in Dubai.
“Saudi Arabia’s hospitality and culinary sector is witnessing exponential growth,” says Luca Antonelli, Area Manager – Middle East, S.Pellegrino. “There are many young, talented chefs with immense potential and inspiration to make their mark in the industry. It has never been so important to encourage and support the development of young talent and also promote culinary innovation. Through this initiative, S.Pellegrino aims to provide a platform to young chefs to demonstrate both their talent and skills to the industry and get recognised for what sets them apart from their peers. It is time to push their creative boundaries to innovate, prove their expertise and help them stand out in a highly competitive industry.”
The third edition will take place over the course of 18 months, with the final event taking place in Milan in June, 2018. The extended duration for this edition will allow candidates more time to work side by side their assigned Chef Mentors to improve their signature dishes and refine their skillset in preparation for the finals. In addition, applications will now be accepted in English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, French and Italian.
The international competition is divided into two phases. During the first, applications will be divided into 21 groups based on geographical region, and 10 semi-finalists from each will be chosen by ALMA, the world’s leading international educational and training centre for Italian Cuisine. Their dishes will be judged based on the following criteria – ingredients, skills, genius, beauty and message.
In the second phase, the 10 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 to December. This year, for the first time, the Middle East and Africa region semifinal event will take place in Dubai in October 2017.
In June 2018, the 21 Young Chef finalists will gather in Italy for the Grand Finale event to compete for the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 title in front of Seven Sages, a distinguished panel of judges comprised of some of the most celebrated culinary masters of the world.
The complete list of competition requirements is available on the application website.
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”:
- 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.
- SKILL: Ability to work with raw materials and turn them into a dish that respects their original essence.
- 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.
- BEAUTY: Dish presentation, giving an aesthetic enhancement of its contents.
- 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
- Russia/CIS (ex-Soviet Union)
- East Europe
- Mediterranean Countries
- Africa-Middle East
- Central America–Caribbean
- South America
- Pacific (Australia/NZ/Pacific Islands)
- North-East Asia
- South-East Asia
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