Cape Town chef Angelo Scirocco will represent Africa and the Middle East region at the 2015 S.Pellegrino Young Chef awards after beating out nine other chefs in the local semi-finals on 23 February 2015. Scirocco, who works as sous chef at Chefs Warehouse (named our 2014 Best Everyday Eatery), will compete against 19 other regional finalists in the grand final, which will be held in Milan in June.
His signature dish, entitled Milk is thicker than Water, was not only a hit with the judges, but also received the People’s Choice award. “I wanted to do something close to me,” says Scirocco. “Something mine and original.” The dish, a lightly spiced rice pudding risotto, included elements like elderflower panna cotta with stracciatella Italian cheese, buttermilk ice cream with Marsala and rose reduction, and meringue. Eat Out editor Abigail Donnelly was blown away: “It was plated so beautifully – white on white – with tender risotto rice and this sour buttermilk ice cream with milk shards. It was so simple; that was the beauty. It moved away from too many things on the plate: no gels, blobs, purées or sponges. It was just magnificent.”
The original shortlist of ten chefs representing African and Middle East included seven chefs from South African restaurants, one from Dubai, one from Kuwait and one from the UAE’s Etihad Airways. (Meet the local contenders here.) It’s been announced that David Higgs, executive chef at 2014 Top 10 restaurant Five Hundred and 2013 Chef of the Year, will serve as a mentor to Scirocco during the finals