Following an impressive grand finale performance by 20 of the most talented young chefs from around the globe, including Kiwi Leslie Hottiaux, in Milan, Mitch Lienhard of the USA has taken out the title of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016.

His winning signature dish was a roasted duck with spiced orange and yam.

“Although I didn’t win, it was such an amazing experience and I have met so many great chefs,” said Kiwi chef Leslie Hottiaux of Apero in Auckland. “I’m really honoured to have participated in this competition and thank Peter Gilmore for his support.”

In order to compete in this extraordinary global event, the young chefs and their signature dishes had to pass several highly-selective preliminary rounds, starting with an initial screeding by ALMA, the world’s leading international educational and training centre for Italian Cuisine, and followed by the regional finals, during which the chefs finished first among nine other talented local contenders.