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S. Pellegrino today announced the regional jury who will decide Canada's representation on the world stage of the brand's global chef scouting program, the renowned S. Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 competition. Three of Canada's most notable chefs – Normand Laprise (Toqué! and Brasserie T!, Montreal, QC), Connie DeSousa (Charcut, Calgary, AB) and Rob Gentile (Buca, Bar Buca and Buca Osteria & Bar, Toronto, ON) – have been hand selected to the Canadian jury. Applications for S. Pellegrino's Young Chef 2016 competition opened on January 1st and the call for submissions, which saw more than 3,000 applications from 191 countries last year, is expected to attract the brightest, young chef talent from Canada's vibrant culinary scene. Watch the official video announcement here.
Following Canada's regional final, Rob Gentile will act as "Mentor Chef" to the Canadian winner, working to develop his or her signature dish before traveling together to the Grand Finale in Milan, a two-day intense cooking competition that decides the 2016 S. Pellegrino Young Chef. Last year, Gentile worked closely with Paul Moran who placed fifth in the S. Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 with a signature dish of Blood Pigeon Smoked and Roasted with Beet Jus and Charcoal Oil, Polenta and Salsify.
"A strong mentor helps to shape a chef's technique and ability with food, as well as guiding their discipline and focus which can make or break your success," says mentor chef, Rob Gentile. "I've been fortunate to train with outstanding chefs throughout my career and the opportunity to work with the next generation is a humbling experience. It is also an honour, and one I take very seriously."
"Canada is home to a dynamic restaurant industry whose chefs are rising stars on an international stage, as we saw with Young Chef 2015 Canadian finalist Paul Moran. Our food scene is the envy of the world at the moment and shows no signs of slowing this year."
The global scouting project, developed to find the best young chef in the world, divides the world into 20 regions and involves approximately 100 top chefs as jurors across the globe, 20 young chef finalists, 20 chef mentors and a stellar chef jury.
Applications through Finedininglovers.com are being accepted online until March 31, 2016. Chefs must be thirty years old or younger with at least one year restaurant experience working as a chef, sous chef or chef de partie to qualify.
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The Grand Finale will feature a renewed panel of judges, the Seven Sages, who will be responsible for selecting the S. Pellegrino Young Chef 2016. The international jury will include some of the world's most renowned culinary masters, such as David Higgs (Saxon Hotel and Spa, Johannesburg, ZA), Carlo Cracco (Cracco Ristorante, Milano, IT), Gaggan Anand (Gaggan, Bangkok, TH), Elena Arzak (Arzak, Gipuzkoa, ES), Mauro Colagreco (Colagreco and Mirazur Restaurants, Menton, FR), Wylie Dufresne (WD~50, New York, US) and Roberta Sudbrack (Restaurante Roberta Sudbrack, Rio de Janeiro, BR).
The complete contest rules and application forms are available on Finedininglovers.com. The e-magazine will also cover each local and international phase of the project with exclusive contents, including the live Grand Finale in Milan.
Follow the competition with the hashtag #SPYoungChef to never miss an update on the event.
The phases of the project
Phase one: Online application – January 1, 2016 to March 31, 2016
Any young chef in the world can submit their application together with their signature dish at Finedininglovers.com. Chefs must be no older than 30 years old and are required to have at least one year experience working in a restaurant as a chef, sous chef or chef de partie. The complete list of requirements is available online.
Phase two: Global shortlist – April 2016
All candidates will be divided according to their geographic origin, representing 20 regions total. ALMA, the world's leading international educational and training centre for Italian Cuisine, will select the first 10 finalists for each region from online applications received, according to Five Golden Rules: ingredients, skills, genius, beauty, and message.
Ingredients: Successfully selecting the best of what the market has to offer with regards to quality, freshness and uniqueness.
Skills: Successfully handling and transforming raw materials into a finished dish that respects its original essence.
Genius: Successfully exploring inspiring, unexpected outlooks, connected with fine dining culture with a personal and contemporary style, while maintaining a perfect balance between tastes and shapes.
Beauty: Dish presentation is part of the charm.
Message: Successfully communicating a clear message through work and personal vision.
Phase three: Local challenges – May 1 – August 15, 2016
Each region's 10 finalists will compete in a local event judged by regional juries comprised of leading regional chefs. Regional juries will evaluate signature dishes from the 10 finalists according to the Five Golden Rules and the best young chefs from all 20 participating regions will be announced by August 20, 2016.
Final phase: S. Pellegrino Young Chef Grand Finale – October 13 – 15, 2016
S. Pellegrino will host the Grand Finale event, a two-day intense cooking competition to celebrate the world's 20 best young chefs in Milan, Italy. The Seven Sages, an international jury of renowned chefs, will evaluate the signature dish from each regional winner and announce the S. Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 on October 15, 2016.
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