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S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Comp Opens

S.Pellegrino announces a new edition of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition, the global initiativeto discover and mentor the most promising and talented young chefs.

The S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition is much more than a culinary contest. Taking part means joining the ambitious S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy project to make the world a better place through food.

The participants will have a unique opportunity to join an international community and be empowered through education, mentoring, networking, and career opportunities. During the course of the Competition, they will be mentored closely by world-renowned chefs who will help them in bringing their vision for the future to the table and their culinary skills to the next level.

peter gilmore and two young chefs in action on comp day

Applications call upon young Australian chefs under the age of 30 to enter their signature dish, with the only prerequisite being that they must have worked as a full-time sous chef, chef de cuisine, chef de partie or commis chef for one year before applying.

Applications are now open until 19 June 2024. Young chefs are able to register here.Regional winners will compete at the Grand Finale event to win the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Award 2024-25.

To win the title, the chefs must impress the global Grand Jury – an esteemed panel of internationally renowned chefs – by demonstrating unrivalled technical abilities as well as true creativity. The winning talent should also display a strong personal belief regarding gastronomy, to convince the Jury of their ability to become a catalyst for positive change. 

South Australian-based chef Robin Wagner represented the Pacific region in the last iteration. His vegan dish, celeriac, granny smith apple and crispy taro' was enough to convince the local chef jury of Jacqui Challinor (NOMAD), Josh Niland (Saint Peter) and Peter Gilmore (Quay Restaurant) that he should continue to the Grand Finale in Milan, Italy (2023).

In 2022, the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Pacific Regional Finals saw 10 chefs from Australia and New Zealand compete over 2 days at the Sydney Cooking School, preparing their signature dish for the local jury of judges, followed by a gala dinner and winners presentation in Sydney. 

A finalist will be selected by local judges from each region to compete at the 2025 grand final in Milan, Italy, which will see an international judging panel critique dishes based on technical creativity, personal beliefs and ability to create a positive change to society through food. An announcement about this year’s judges is expected imminently.

The last edition saw chef Nelson Freitas triumph, emerging as the best chef in the world under 30.

“S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition was an amazing experience, as it allows connections, [and] sharing information, culture and of course, knowledge. For me it was not an end point but the beginning of a new journey.” Said chef Nelson. robin wagner

During the Competition, applicants will also compete for three additional awards which will recognise young chefs' varied beliefs and approaches to creating positive societal change through food:

  • Pellegrino Social Responsibility Award: voted for by the Sustainable Restaurant Association, which runs Food Made Good, the largest foodservice sustainability program and global community for driving sustainability in hospitality, the winning dish will represent the principle that food is at its best when it's the result of socially responsible practices, encompassing sourcing, social and environmental requirements;
  • Acqua Panna Connection in Gastronomy Award: voted for by Mentors, the winner of this award will produce a dish that represents the culinary heritage of the chef’s native region. The dish should highlight traditional culinary practices and personal modern vision, providing a connection between the past and the future;
  • Fine Dining Lovers Food for Thought Award: voted for by the online Fine Dining Lovers community, this award will be for the young chef who best represents their personal beliefs with a signature dish;

peter gilmore and robin wagner

To learn more about the initiative please  

Young chefs under 30 can register here:

Applications for the 2024 Pacific regional competition are now open and will close 19 June 2024.