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USA Local Jury for S.Pellegrino® Young Chef 2018 Announced

Local Jury for S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 Announced

Five chefs from across the USA will form the jury for the USA local competition for S.Pellegrino® Young Chef:

  • April Bloomfield
  • Daniela Soto-Innes and
  • Gavin Kaysen
  • Mitch Lienhard
  • Dave Beran

The team of five esteemed chefs will face the difficult task of selecting the best young chef in the USA during the live S.Pellegrino Young Chef Local Competition on October 17th in New York City. The chosen young chef will represent the USA in the biggest talent search to find the best young chef in the world.

Meet the USA jury 

April Bloomfield (The Spotted Pig, The Breslin Bar & Dining Room - NYC) 

Experienced British chef April Bloomfield first honed her craft in London, including at The River Café, and then in Northern Ireland, before realizing her ambitions in NYC.

Moving Stateside and working at Chez Panisse in California, it wasn’t long until she was spotted by Ken Friedman when she embarked on the challenge of managing NYC’s first gastropub, The Spotted Pig, which earned a Michelin Star under her direction.

Further NYC destinations including The Breslin Bar & Dining Room and The John Dory Oyster Bar followed, as well as cookbooks, including A Girl and Her Pig.

Daniela Soto-Innes (Cosme, Atla – NYC) 

Daniela Soto-Innes’ interest in flavor and baking was sparked at a young age and nurtured by a family with a shared love of good food. Starting out in her first professional role in the US at the age of just 15, she next moved to Austin, Texas where she graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.

In 2014, she opened Cosme in New York City as Chef de Cuisine, where she quickly garnered praise as one of the city’s top young chefs and was named James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year.

Daniela believes that the simplest food can inspire the imagination most of all, and she makes her dishes meaningful by “finding the secret life in each ingredient.”

Gavin Kaysen, Mentor (Bellecour, Spoon and Stable - Minneapolis, MN) 

Minneapolis chef Gavin Kaysen will be the USA mentor for this edition of Young Chef, offering support, tutoring and guidance to the USA regional winner, as they work towards the Grand Finale in June 2018.

Kaysen is a firm believer in nurturing talent, and the mentoring role should come naturally to him as both a founding member of the non-profit Ment’or BKB Foundation and Team USA’s head coach at the prestigious Bocuse d’Or competition.

Chef Kaysen refined his skills in contemporary fine dining in some of the world’s best restaurants, including L’Auberge de Lavaux in Lausanne, L’Escargot in London and El Bizcocho in San Diego.

His most formative role came as Chef de Cuisine at Café Boulud in NYC, which he describes as getting both his master’s and his PhD.

However, the Boulud protégé has since left the bright lights of NYC and returned to his roots in Minneapolis, first opening Spoon and Stable in 2014, followed by his most recent venture, Bellecour.

Mitch Lienhard (Manresa – Los Gatos, CA) 

Michigan-born and Florida-raised Mitch Lienhard joins the jury in the unique position of being last year’s winner and holder of the current S.Pellegrino Young Chef title.

Once sous chef at Chicago restaurant Grace, he is currently Chef de Cuisine at the three Michelin star Manresa restaurant in Los Gatos, California.

Lienhard counts David Kinch, Curtis Duffy, Grant Achatz, Joshua Skenes, Kevin Ives, and Christian Madsen amongst his mentors and is committed to his professional calling: “Ever since I can remember I have wanted to be a chef. I believe it is my true calling as an individual.”

Dave Beran (Dialogue - Santa Monica, CA) 

Fine dining Chicago chef turned LA restaurateur, Dave Beran, first made waves as Executive Chef at Next in Chicago alongside chef-owner Grant Achatz. Beran also won the 2014 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Great Lakes. Prior to Next, Beran was the Chef de Cuisine at Alinea.

Most recently, Beran has embarked on his first solo restaurant in Santa Monica – Dialogue – which opens this fall and where he will be serving a tasting menu to just 18 diners.

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