S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Award

The winner is ... Jerome Ianmark Calayag

The winner of this year's S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Awards is Jerome Ianmark Calayag. When he's not on stage in Milan, he's cooking at Stockholm's Portal Restaurant.
The winner of this year's S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Awards is Jerome Ianmark Calayag. When he's not on stage in Milan, he's cooking at Stockholm's Portal Restaurant.

Jerome Ianmark Calayag is the winner of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Awards for 2019-21. Calayag, who competed representing the UK and Northern Europe, beat off competition from nine other talented chefs and cooks from around the world. The title was awarded in Milan last weekend.

The grand finale of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy competition pitted some of the world's best up-and-coming chefs against each other. Several rounds were held to determine the winner of the 2019-21 S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Awards.

Jerome Ianmark Calayag won over the judges with his signature dish "Humble vegetables", which he developed in collaboration with mentor David Ljunqvist, his chef at Portal Restaurant in Stockholm. The jury, which included Enrico Bartolini, Manu Buffara, Andreas Caminada, Mauro Colagreco, Gavin Kaysen and Clare Smyth, praised the choice of ingredients, his skill, his creativity, the special presentation and the message of the dish.

Three new awards

For the first time, three new awards were presented at this year's competition: Elissa Abou Tasse with "Adam's garden" is the winner of the Acqua Panna Award for Connection in Gastronomy. The award is to recognize her ability to create a signature dish that expresses her heritage and bridges cultures. Callan Austin, with his "The ghost net," has received the social responsibility award offered by S.Pellegrino. He was selected by Food Made Good, an organization dedicated to sustainability in the restaurant industry worldwide. The winning dish, they said, represents in the best possible way the aspiration to cook sustainably and responsibly.

And finally, the online community of Fine Dining Lovers presented its Fine Dining Lovers Food for Thought Award to Andrea Ravasio with his "El domingo del campesino". He had translated his cooking philosophy best into an impressive dish.

Supporting gastronomy

The S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition is one of the main activities of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy. The aim is to support the gastronomy on its way into the future. To this end, talent is sought worldwide and specifically supported with training and a mentoring program. According to the company, several hundred chefs applied for this year's competition, and the best 135 applicants qualified for the preliminary round. In preliminary rounds, they competed against each other in twelve world regions in cooking competitions. The winners of the regions finally advanced to the world finals. Along the way, they underwent a mentoring program in which they worked with experienced top chefs to hone their final dishes.
The three-day event ended with a special gala dinner. Top chef Massimo Bottura and his team - Takahiko Kondo, Riccardo Forapani, Francesco Vincenzi, Jessica Rosval and Bernardo Paladini - immersed the guests in the spirit of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy in culinary terms as well.

Founded in 1899, Sanpellegrino S.p.A. is the leading company in the beverage sector in Italy with its range of mineral waters, non-alcoholic aperitifs, drinks and iced teas. S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna S.Pellegrino, Acqua Panna and Sanpellegrino Italian Sparkling Drinks are international brands of the company based in Milan, Italy.