Breakfast at Dabbous – S. Pellegrino Young Chef Award:
How do you encourage excellence in the professional kitchen? It’s a World where the hours are punishing, where young chefs hone their skills with work that can be repetitive and tedious. Where the need for perfection must sometimes seem to stifle any creative potential. Some of us gathered at Dabbous on Monday morning to find out how S. Pellegrino is championing young chefs with their special award. We got breakfast for our efforts too – a rather beautiful Bircher Muesli and a kick arse Duck Egg with Black Pudding!
S. Pellegrino Young Chef 2016, an International award for the World’s top young chef (applicants must be no older than 30) is just starting its second year. The competition runs in four phases. Entrants start by applying – including their ‘signature dish’ and a CV. Applications are shortlisted by ALMA, the world’s leading training centre for Italian Cuisine and a maximum of 10 semi-finalists for each of the 20 world regions.
Between May and mid August the Semi-Finalists cook their signature dish for a local jury. The UK and Ireland judging panel includes Claude Bosi, Ollie Dabbous, JP MMahon and Ross Lewis, all of whom were at Dabbous on Monday morning for the launch of the UK and Ireland competition. It’s an amazing opportunity for young chefs to work with some of the leading lights of the UK and Irish restaurant world.
One finalist per region will be selected. The winning signature dish will be judged based on five key criteria – ingredients, skills, genius, beauty and message. And, the winner at this stage will be mentored by a leading Chef. In the UK and Ireland this year, that’s Claude Bosi! He will help whoever the regional winner is to hone their dish still further – so that what is presented at the Grand Finale in Milan on 13th October is as close to perfection as possible.
It’s a unique opportunity. Mark Moriarty from Ireland was last year’s overall winner. He explained how he’d had an amazing year, travelling and working with some of the World’s leading chefs as part of his reign as S. Pellegrino Young Chef 2016.
I do hope we have another winner from the UK and Ireland. But, if that is to happen, we need all our top young chefs to enter! Find out more at FineDiningLovers.com – and, if you are eligible then get your entry in by the end of March!