S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018: Local Competition News and Updates


The S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 semi-finalists have been announced and the preliminary phase of challenges, or Local Competitions, in the third ever edition of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 are now drawing to a conclusion.

So far, 17 global regions have experienced the thrill of the live culinary challenge where ten semi-finalists per region, as selected by Italian culinary school Alma, have had the chance to cook and serve their signature dishes to be tasted by a respective jury of distinguished chefs, being shortlisted to just one winner. Just four regions are left to cook.

The Local Competition 2017 Winners so far, in reverse order:

Anton Husa, the chef at Upper House Dining in Göteborg, Sweden, will represent Scandinavia and the Baltics at the Grand Finale with his signature dish of "leek coated cod, caramelized celeriac, stuffed onions with smoked dill emulsion." He will spend the coming months perfecting his dish with mentor Henri Alen.

Jake Kellie is heading to the Grand Finale in Milan, after being named S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 for SEA region, with his dish of aged pigeon.

Marcin Popielarz will represent East Europe in the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Grand Finale. The chef from the White Rabbit Restaurant (PL Restauracja Bialy Krolik) in Gdansk, Poland took gold with his signature dish: Herring in Fisherman style With Cucumber and Dill.

Read all about his exciting win here.

John Taube has been chosen to represent the USA at the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 Grand Finale in Milan, Italy. The Sous Chef at the NoMad Hotel won with a simple looking dish of beetroot and squab that deceptively contained 51 different ingredients. He will be accompanied by mentor Gavin Kaysen to the Grand Finale.

Find out more about his victory here.

Sous chef Vusumuzi Ndlovu from South Africa was named winner in the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 Africa and Middle East semi-final held on 16 October in Dubai with his dish titled ‘Isicupho.’ He will train for the Grand Finale with mentor chef Marthinus Ferreira.

Yasuhiro Fujio, the sous chef at La Cime in Osaka, Japan was named the best young chef in Japan with his dish entitled: "Across the Sea."

Read about his win here.

Ruslan Evstigneev has been crowned winner in the Russia-CIS local competition. He competed against 10 other hopefuls on 10 October in Moscow with his signature dish: Horse, kumiss, and barely. Nomad approach for a dinner. He will now represent the region at the Grand Finale supported by mentor chef Andrey Shmakov from Savva restaurant.

Find out more about his win here.

Benjamin Mauroy-Langlais, chef de Partie from Automne in Montréal, was named winner in the regional final held in Toronto on 2 October. His winning dish of smoked eel and celeriac was entitled "spring in Kamouraska." He will proceed to the Grand Finale alongside mentor chef Riccardo Bertolino.

Frederic Chastro from Suna restaurant in Antwerp was named the winner of the local S.Pellegrino Young Chef contest on 25 September and will compete for the international title in Milan in June 2018.

He will be accompanied to the final by mentor, Peter Goossens. You can find out more about them both here.

Chanwai Poon was the winner of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 regional competition In China and will represent the nation at the global finals in Milan next year.

Read more about chef Poon from Aurora restaurant in Shanghai's win with his signature dish entitled "Childhood" here.

Antonio Buono is the finalist of S.Pellegrino Young Chef France with his signature dish of Mediterranean Scorpion fish, black rouille, rhubarb, wild celery and flowers from the mountains. He will represent France at the Grand Finale 2018 with his mentor, three Michelin star chef Frédéric Anton.

Find out more about is win here.

via Fine Dining Lovers

Edoardo Fumagalli is the Italian finalist in S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 with his signature dish : "Carabinieri shrimp, frosted sweetbreads, crispy algae and aromatic salad". He was named winner on 11 September by a six strong jury of top Italian chefs.

Find out more about the local competition here.

John Rivera is the Australian finalist and will represent the region at S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 in June. He will be accompanied to the Grand Finale by chef mentor Scott Picket. Catch the action as it happened in the video clip above.

Read about his win here.

Elizabeth Puquio Landeo from Ambrosía restaurant in Chile took gold with her signature dish "Pescado De La Costa" on 5 September at Le Cordon Bleu Institute in Lima, Peru. Find out more here.

David Wälti, sous chef at the “Eisblume” restaurant in Worb won the Swiss finals fending off nine other young talents in his country with his signature dish of salmon trout with herbal tea and marinated raw vegetables on 4 September in Zurich. Grand Chef André Jaeger will serve as a mentor the Swiss finalist helping him to develop his "signature dish” and optimise his performance ahead of the big day in Milan.

Find out more here.

Constadina Voulgari took gold in the regional contest for the Mediterranean Countries in Tel Aviv on 10 July, with her partridge led signature dish: “Ellinon Gefsis.”

"Constadina made a dish with her heart, and you could taste the difference. Her preparations proved her high culinary skills, and she used interesting techniques, as well as unique products" effused mentor and chef judge Nikos Roussos.

Read more about Constadina's victory here.

Germany and Austria kicked off the Local Competition phase in Frankfurt, Germany on Monday 26 June.

German chef, Falko Weiß, was crowned winner of the region with his signature dish of stewed pork belly, crawfish and tea time fond, entitled "City/Land/River" and inspired by his homeland.

The young chef from restaurant "à la Minute" restaurant in Trier, Germany will henceforth have the benefit of advice and mentorship from Karlheinz Hauser up until the Grand Finale.

Find out more about it here.


The Local Competitions will be ongoing until December 2017 when a list of 21 finalists will be revealed.

Those talented young chefs fortunate enough to be listed will have the even greater advantage of extra time to work closely with their nominated professional mentor chef this competition, right up until the Grand Finale in May 2018.

Stay tuned to find out all the results as well as learn more about the top chef mentors in our individual interviews and updates. Find all the news here.