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S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy: future of gastronomy

S.Pellegrino recently hosted the event "Bring Your Future to the Table" at the Eatanic Garden to mark the launch of the 2024-25 S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition.

This event not only celebrated the beginning of the new competition edition but also highlighted the academy's commitment to the future of gastronomy and the program's significance.


The S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy is a platform established by S.Pellegrino to discover and nurture young chefs who can make a positive impact on society beyond the realm of gastronomy, fostering a more inclusive and sustainable future. Through this initiative, S.Pellegrino aims to provide educational, mentoring, and experiential opportunities to attract, connect, and cultivate the next generation of culinary talents, creating an environment where young chefs can thrive through prestigious global competitions.


The academy welcomes members from over 70 countries, ensuring that talent is not limited by region, ethnicity, or gender. Passionate young chefs interact with prominent figures in the global gastronomic community, contributing to and benefiting from a vibrant culinary network.


The event commenced with canapé dishes prepared by young chefs who participated in previous editions of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy, alongside their mentor chefs. These seven canapé creations, reflective of the chefs' unique personalities, set the tone for the event and heightened anticipation.


"S.Pellegrino has designed this program to discover and nurture young talents who will shape the future of gastronomy. We are committed to building a close-knit community that supports and encourages growth within the gastronomy industry," explained a representative, underscoring the significance of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy, which marks its sixth anniversary this year.


The collaborative and supportive nature of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy was further showcased during the subsequent lunch course. The seven chefs who crafted the canapé dishes joined forces in the kitchen to prepare a three-course meal for guests.

The cold appetizer and "Tangpyeongchae" dish were presented by Chef Louis Han and Chef Ian Goh, who served as mentor and mentee in the 2022-23 edition, achieving top accolades.

The main courses, featuring "Yukgaejang" and "Bibimbap" with Jeju abalone, were expertly prepared by chefs Julien Royer, Jongwon Son, Jiwoo Lee, and Hyojeong Kim, all distinguished participants in previous Asian finals.

Chef Kevin Wong, a finalist in the 2019-20 world finals and now a celebrated chef with a restaurant ranked 31st on Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2024 list, crafted the dessert "Rice and Curry," showcasing his personal culinary journey and achievements since the competition.


The event exemplified the collaborative spirit and culinary excellence that define the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy, emphasizing the program's role in nurturing talent and fostering a global community of aspiring chefs.


Talk Session with the Young Chefs

The talk session that followed provided a valuable opportunity to hear candid insights and reflections from the seven chefs, shedding light on their experiences and perspectives within the culinary industry. Amidst the discussions, key themes such as 'cooperation' and 'growth' emerged as pivotal elements in their professional journeys.


'Collaboration' stands as a fundamental value emphasized by the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy. Participating young chefs become part of a broader gastronomic community, engaging with seasoned professionals on a global stage and forging connections with peers. This network provides them with reliable colleagues and mentors who can guide their path within the culinary industry. Chef Ian Goh, a recent participant in the global competition, highlighted the competitive yet supportive nature of the gastronomic world, emphasizing the enriching experience fostered by the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy. He encouraged aspiring chefs to seize the opportunity to participate, recognizing it as a platform for shared growth and knowledge exchange.


Similarly, Chef Kevin Wong recalled the competition as a transformative experience, describing it as a chance to connect with the best young chefs worldwide. Despite language barriers, food served as a universal language that facilitated profound conversations and expanded culinary perspectives.


The chefs' dialogue underscored a resolute passion for 'growth.' Chef Julien Royer, acclaimed owner and executive chef of Singapore's Odette, expressed his enduring commitment to learning and development. Reflecting on his illustrious career, Chef Royer emphasized the importance of continual growth, viewing each day as a fresh opportunity to evolve. This sentiment resonated with Chef Jongwon Son, who emphasized the value of learning, particularly during his role as a mentor in the competition. Observing the menu creation process from the sidelines, providing guidance, and witnessing personal growth were integral aspects of his experience.


Chef Louis Han, drawing from his dual roles as a former contestant and mentor, highlighted the competition as a journey of introspection and self-discovery. He emphasized the transformative potential of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy, encouraging participants to embrace it as a period of profound learning and personal growth.


How to apply...?

The S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Contest 2024-25, currently open for applications until June 19, invites aspiring chefs under the age of 30 to share their culinary vision and passion for gastronomy. Chef Julien emphasized that the competition offers a platform for young chefs to share their unique narratives through their dishes. Judges assess participants based on 'technical ability,' 'creativity,' and 'personal belief,' encouraging them to articulate their culinary stories through taste, presentation, and personal expression.


For more information on how to apply for the S.Pellegrino 2024 Young Chef Contest and details about the competition, interested individuals can visit the official S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy website at the link below.


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