The S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 journey of Yasuhiro Fujio of Japan came to an exciting climax on the evening of May 13 as he was crowned the winner of this year’s edition. Over the intense and highly emotional two days of the Grand Finale which was held in Milan, Italy, on 12-13 May, 21 young chef finalists battled it out for the prestigious title as they prepared their signature dishes one last time to present to the jury.
The jury, named the Seven Sages, consisted of some of the world’s top stars of gastronomy – Virgilio Martínez, Margarita Forés, Brett Graham, Annie Féolde, Dominique Crenn, Anna Roš and Paul Pairet. Their message this year was clear, they explained that they “searched for the heart of these people” and for the “truth in the kitchen”.
Yasuhiro Fujio joins the ranks of the top young talents whose journeys as chefs got taken onto the international stage, as winners of S.Pellegrino Young Chef. These previous edition winners, Mitch Lienhard (USA, 2016) and Mark Moriarty (UK, 2015) were also present on stage at the Award Ceremony prior to the final announcement of the winner. Here they took a moment to speak of the opportunities and connections that the S.Pellegrino Young Chef award made open to them, along with some final words of encouragement to the finalists: “believe in what you are doing” said Moriarty.
THE WINNING SIGNATURE DISH
With mentor Luca Fantin by his side, Yasuhiro Fujio presented his signature dish celebrating his Japanese heritage. The young talented chef highlighted the ayu fish, a sweet, river fish found in Japan that is available for just a short period in the year during the summer. He attempted to recreate his memories of the smells and tastes of the river nearby his home where the ayu fish lives, incorporating ‘green flavours’ in all components of his signature dish.
THE OTHER AWARDS AND WINNERS
Yasuhiro Fujio took also the honour of the Acqua Panna – Taste of Authenticity Award. This award was chosen by the 21 mentors, which had coincided with the choice of the jury this year.
Elizabeth Puquio Landeo (South America) won the online community vote and took the Fine Dining Lovers People’s Choice Award. Landeo presented her signature dish based on Peruvian flavours, celebrating her mother and her childhood memories.
RECAP: THE WINNERS
S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018: Yasuhiro Fujio (Japan)
Acqua Panna – Taste of Authenticity Award: Yasuhiro Fujio (Japan)
Fine Dining Lovers People’s Choice Award: Elizabeth Puquio Landeo (South America)
Discover on the dedicated page our comprehensive video coverage of these days, live streamed over May 12-13.