Mitch Lienhard representing America has taken the title of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 in a thrilling Grand Final today in Milan.
Mitch fought off stiff competition from the other regional finalists and his winning dish of “Roasted duck with spiced orange & yam” was highly praised by the judges. He took the title from last year’s winner, Mark Moriarty, in front of packed crowds on Saturday night.
With his jubilant mentor Dominique Crenn and an assembled audience of fellow chefs and food enthusiasts looking on, Lienhard said: "It's crazy, today was such a hard competition and not just in my kitchen," before going on to praise fellow super-finalists Shintaro Awa, representing France and David Andrés Morera, telling the latter that his artichoke had "blown my mind."
The “Most Inspirational Message” Award, voted for in an online poll by members of the public, went to Daniel Nates from Mexico who represented Latin America. His dish was inspired by the cornfields of his homeland.
The Acqua Panna Contemporary Tradition Award was won by Alessandro Rapisarda who represented Italy. The Grand Jury noted that his "Risotto alla Marinara" successfully reinvented a traditional Italian dish with a contemporary presentation, a surprising texture and an excellent flavour.
An International panel
The three-day long Grand Final saw 20 of the world’s most talented young chefs from all over the globe compete in front of an international chef jury.
Over 3,000 chefs originally entered the search to find the best young talent in the world. Of those, 200 young chefs were short-listed for the 20 regional semi-finals. After winning their regional finals each of the 20 finalists were then paired up with a mentor who was also on the local selection panel ready for the Grand Final.
See all the highlights from the three-day Grand Final below and follow us on social channels using #SPYoungChef.
Mitch Lienhard wins S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016
3 finalists go through to the final day
Day 2: Second 10 chefs compete
Day 1: First 10 chefs compete