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Almost Famous Chef

In support and passion for gastronomy and their commitment to the culinary arts, the S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition was founded in 2002 as a mentoring program that connects top culinary students with established chefs and media. This program has helped to launch hundreds of culinary careers and refined the skills of a new generation of chefs.

This year it is combining forces with Chef Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia – Champions' finalist of Bravo's "Top Chef Masters" season two and winner of the 2005 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef Midwest – to launch its 2013 kickoff in January. This year's lineup includes Rick Moonen of RM Seafood, Susur Lee of Lee,  Mark McEwan of One and Chef Joho of Everest. Chefs mentor culinary students on everything from preparation techniques to personal impact.

Culinary students representing 75 schools will test their mettle for a place at the finals in Napa Valley this March. Across the 10 regional competitions, students will showcase their skills in hopes of securing an apprenticeship with a participating chef and more than $20,000 in winnings.

This year, consumers will be encouraged to participate in the Claim to Almost Fame "Signature Dish" online S. Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition Facebook sweepstakes. They will be encouraged to share their own Signature Dish, with a chance of winning a trip to the finals in 2014, as well as the honor of having a professional chef recreate their winning dish at a dinner party for 10.