UPDATE 14/05/2018: The wait is over - the winner of S.Pellegrino Young Chef has finally been crowned! Discover which rising star took home the honour of winning S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 and watch all the young chefs of the competition in the 4 live streaming episodes covering the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 Grand Finale: a true display of extraordinary passion, skill and determination of the new talents in the world of gastronomy
UPDATE 1 Dec. 2017: All the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Local Finals are now concluded and all the 21 finalists have been selected. Find out more about the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Canada finalist!
The Canadian Local Jury
The Canadian local jury for S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 is finalised and includes an impressive line-up of 5 seasoned professionals from the East to the West coast.
Chefs Anthony Walsh, Riccardo Bertolino, Jen Agg, Joël Watanabe and Todd Perrin will form the panel of experts at the local competition on 2 October 2017. At the Toronto-based competition they will evaluate the dishes of the ten semi-finalists based on the five “Golden Rules.”
One chef will emerge victorious, winning a mentorship with a leading Canadian chef, before advancing to compete for the S.Pellegrino Young Chef title in Milan in 2018.
Here is the run down on each of the seasoned professionals, from Montreal to Vancouver, who will decide the future of the region’s best young chefs.
Meet the Canadian Local Jury
Anthony Walsh (Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants, Toronto, ON)
For Canadian Chef Walsh, defining Canadian food and elevating it to the world stage is not only a top priority, but a passion. His current role as Corporate Executive Chef of Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants and previous experience at Canoe and Toronto’s JAW and culinary awards have demonstrated his ability to do just that.
Walsh’s career has also been peppered with accolades including gold medals from Taste of Canada, Black Box, Salon Culinaire and the Ontario Hostelry Institute.
Riccardo Bertolino (Maison Boulud, Montreal, QC)
Italian born chef Riccardo Bertolino comes with a CV that spans the world of haute cuisine and some culinary greats. From humble beginnings, starting out age 13 in a small trattoria in Bologna, he has since taken on the world. Working in some of the best fine dining establishments around, including Le three Michelin star Meurice Restaurant under Chef Yannick Alléno, two Michelin star Daniel in upper east side, NYC and DBGB Kitchen & Bar as sous chef, before becoming executive sous chef in Café Boulud NY (1 Michelin star).
In 2011 he was elected chef for the new opening Maison Boulud at the Ritz Carlton in Montreal which he has elevated to one of the top dining experiences in the country.
Jen Agg (Grey Gardens, The Black Hoof, Cocktail Bar, Rhum Corner, Toronto, ON and Agrikol, Montreal QC)
Jen Agg is the owner of The Black Hoof, Grey Gardens, Cocktail Bar and Rhum Corner in Toronto and Agrikol in Montreal. She is also the author of I Hear She’s a Real Bitch, and is a big fan of nachos. You can find her most nights, in one of her spots, tipping back rosé as slowly as it's possible to do such a thing.
Joël Watanabe (Kissa Tanto and Bao Bei, Vancouver, BC)
Watanabe began cooking professionally in his teens garnering culinary experience including French, Italian, and sushi training. After moving to the West Coast in his late 20s, he worked at Whistler’s Araxi and helped open La Brasserie before joining forces with Tannis Ling, the owner of Bao Bei and later opening Kissa Tanto, serving Italian-Japanese fare, where he is also executive chef.
Todd Perrin (Mallard Cottage, St. John’s, NF)
Canadian foodies will recognise Todd Perrin as the burly, entertaining, larger than life Newfoundlander from Top Chef Canada and Top Chef Canada All Stars. However, these days, Todd can be found at his latest project, in the painstakingly restored 18th century Mallard Cottage restaurant, in Quidi Vidi Village, St. John’s drawing on the bounty of local ingredients and serving them in traditional and non-traditional ways.