The semi-finalists for S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 have been announced, with one SA restaurant making quite a showing and a full half of the contenders hailing from our fine shores in the Africa–Middle East region of the worldwide talent competition.
After a rigorous process, which saw 35% more valid candidates than last year, each of these young applicants were chosen by ALMA, The International School of Italian Cuisine. Their signature dishes were assessed according to ingredients, skills, genius, beauty and message.
Five of the ten chefs who made the finals of this category represent South Africa. Another remarkable feat is that three of the five are from The Restaurant at Waterkloof, where 2016 Eat Out S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Chef of the Year Gregory Czarnecki rules the kitchen. He is clearly raising his team to new heights!
The finalists are:
Aditya Kumar Jha
Chef at Tamba in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, who will be serving Cryo Fried Banjara Gosht
Chef de partie at The Restaurant at Waterkloof in Somerset West, who will serve Rubus & Fresh Water
Chef de partie at The Restaurant at Waterkloof, Somerset West, who will serve Langoustine in Granny’s Garden
Sous chef at Palm Hotel & Spa, Reunion Island, Petite Ile, who will serve The Path to the Purpose
Jorge Alexis Falcon Valera
Sous chef at Cantina Kahlo, Manama, Bahrain, who will serve Raices
Chef at The Exchange Grill Restaurant, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, who will serve sous vide duck breast with tamarind sauce, orange puree, apple licorice, foie gras
Chef at The Eloquent Elephant in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, who will serve steamed Patagonian toothfish, spiced lobster mousse, moilee sauce, ‘sukha javla’
Chef de partie at The Restaurant at Waterkloof, Somerset West, who will serve Salmon Up The River
Chef at the Sheldon Raju Consultancy in Cape Town, who will serve On the Spice Trail
Sous chef at The Saxon in Johannesburg, who will serve Isicupho
It’s not the first time SA has had a good showing. In June 2015, Angelo Scirocco (then of Chefs Warehouse and more recently of Urbanologi) won this category, and made it to the finals in Milan, where he served his dish, Milk is Thicker Than Water, to the judges. (Read more here.)
The 2018 semi-finalists will now proceed to the local phase of the competition, where they will present their dishes to a panel of local judges. By December, the jury will select the best young chef to represent the region on the global stage at the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 Grand Finale in Milan, where the best young chef in the world will be crowned.
Click here to find out more about the competition.