Ten finalists for the 2020 edition of the Pacific’s S.Pellegrino Young Chef Competition have been named, with a strong representation of New Zealanders. There are three Kiwis in the top ten; Abhijit Dey, sous chef at SO Auckland, Giada Grilli, chef de partie at Lillius Restaurant in Auckland, and Andrew Tranter, sous chef at Pescatore in Christchurch. In addition to these three, other chefs hailed from Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, regional New South Wales, and regional Victoria.
What was also encouraging, is this year’s selection includes three female chefs, a first for the region. The top ten chefs will cook-off against each other at the Regional Finals at the Sydney Seafood School on Monday the 26th of August, where an esteemed panel of judges will decide the winner. The panel of judges includes Peter Gilmore, executive chef at Quay in Sydney; Jock Zonfillo, chef and owner at Restaurant Orana and Bistro Blackwood in Adelaide; Danielle Alvarez, head chef at Fred’s in Sydney; Dan Hunter, chef and owner at Brae Restaurant in Victoria; and Christine Manfield, a leader in the Australian culinary institute. On top of these judges, each application was evaluated by culinary experts at ALMA.
The 2020 S.Pellegrino Young Chef Competition boasts more than 2400 applicants from around the world, representing around 50 countries. From August to December of 2019, the candidates from each region will compete in 12 regional challenges. Once the best chef from each region has been determined, they will compete at a global level, getting the opportunity to win significant professional prestige. They will also be invited to take part in several of the S.Pellegrino’s high-profile annual events that take place all around the world.
Andrea Sinigaglia, general manager of ALMA, said, “We have had the pleasure of collaborating with S.Pellegrino Young Chef since the very first edition, and every time we are amazed by the variety of ideas and the great passion shown by the candidates. For this edition, we selected 135 young talents, and we are excited to see how they will perform first on a local, and then on a global scale.”