This is the top chef jury for S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018
After a tantalising wait, S.Pellegrino is excited to reveal the line-up of world-class chefs who will ultimately choose the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018.
Chefs Virgilio Martínez, Margarita Forés, Brett Graham, Annie Féolde, Dominique Crenn, Ana Roš and Paul Pairet will form the elite chef panel for the third edition of the competition and will be known henceforth as the Seven Sages.
These seven giants of global gastronomy will be tasked with the huge responsibility of pooling their experience, intuition and knowledge to crown the best young chef in the world at the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Grand Finale in Milan, from 11 to 13 May 2018.
21 young global chef finalists remain, shortlisted from thousands of applicants and through intense regional heats. They will have just one chance to impress these culinary icons with their signature dishes.
In front of a packed audience of friends, family, chefs, mentors, media and viewers around the world, the Grand Finale will be one of the most daunting, challenging and exciting moments of these young chefs’ fledgling careers. The mettle, determination, and skill of each and every young chef will be tested, as they cook their signature dishes head to head, live, on a global platform.
As the final countdown to the Grand Finale begins, the 21 finalists are hard at work around the world, collaborating with their chef mentors, perfecting their signature dishes for what could be a life changing moment – the chance to wow the Seven Sages.
In the meantime, here’s more about each of the Seven Sages.
A driving force in the new generation of Latin American chefs, Martínez’ career is testament to his insatiable curiosity and energy. Running flagship Central restaurant in Lima, Peru, with his wife Pía León, they have claimed the top spot on the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list for three consecutive years. The year ahead looks hugely busy for the pioneering duo with plans for relocating Central and opening a brand-new restaurant, Mil, near Cusco.
An ambassador for Peruvian food, Martínez’ passion for the biodiversity of his native Peru, is exemplified in his Mater Inciativa research project in the Andes. He was also awarded the Chefs’ Choice Award at World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2017.
Chef Forés runs a restaurant empire in the Philippines which began with the Cibo di Marghi Signature Catering and the opening of her first modern Italian restaurant, Cibo, in 1997. Many other food related ventures followed influenced by her love of Italian cuisine and her heritage. In 2012, Forés, who originally trained in Italy, opened the first ever Asian Campus of the renewed Italian culinary school Casa Artusi and in 2016 was voted Asia’s Best Female Chef.
Australian chef Brett Graham comes from humble beginnings, starting out as a fresh faced 15-year-old working in a simple fish restaurant down under. After winning the Josephine Pignolet Award for young chefs, he arrived in London and hasn’t looked back since. After first honing his skills at The Square, with Philip Howard, he opened The Ledbury, where he has remained ever since. A favourite in the capital, it boasts two coveted Michelin stars, as well as a spot at 27 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurant list.
French by birth, Annie Féolde was the first woman to hold three Michelin stars outside of France, at the prestigious Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence, Italy, which she runs with husband Giorgio. More recently she has spread her culinary wings overseas, opening Artisan by Enoteca Pinchiorri in Dubai. Also a judge on Italy’s Top Chef, she is well practiced in recognising and nurturing culinary talent.
Dominique Crenn returns to the competition hot on the heels of her win with mentoree Mitch Lienhard, champion of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 edition. The two-Michelin starred French chef is a force to be reckoned with on the US West Coast with her trailblazing San Francisco restaurants: Atelier Crenn, Petit Crenn and the much anticipated Bar Crenn. Crenn is an active participant in chef forums, debates and an ambassador for female chefs. Amongst other accolades, she was featured in Season 2 of Netflix Chef’s Table.
Slovenian chef Ana Roš was awarded the coveted title of The World’s Best Female Chef in 2017 – an impressive accolade for the determined self-taught chef and ambassador for Slovenian gastronomy. Roš comes from her family owned Hiša Franko restaurant in Kobarid, Slovenia, on the Italian border, which she runs with her husband – in between managing a hugely busy diary cooking at food events, masterclasses and speaking at industry events all over the world.
French chef Paul Pairet is best known for his avant-garde cuisine and a trio of eclectic restaurants in Shanghai: Mr & Mrs Bund, The Chop Chop Club, and Ultraviolet – a secretive and multi-sensory three-Michelin-star dining experience. It has also ranked among The World’s 50 Best Restaurants since 2015. The innovative chef was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the inaugural year of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, followed by winning the Chefs’ Choice Award in 2016.