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Food, Inside Story

S Pellegrino Young Chef Awards 2015 at No 8


No 8 restaurant at Crown was the superb venue for the S. Pellegrino Young Chef Awards 2015, a prestigious premium event in the food industry with global reach. The World Loves Melbourne was honoured to attend such an event, with a star studded line up of chefs and foodie luminaries from around Australia including Jacques Reymond, Peter Gilmore, Guy Grossi, Peter Doyle, and Giovanni Pilu. And to sit alongside some of the world's up and coming chefs was a thrill. Peter Gunn from Attica in Victoria took out the presigious first prize for the region with his stunning Beef short ribs with roast celery vinaigrette. Peter now gets to travel to Milan for the world Young Chef cook off, with Jacques Reymond as his mentor. Does it get any better?



No 8 was the perfect venue with the attendees dining at a  long table overlooking the Yarra River; such a charming setting. Kudos to Sanpellegrino for supporting rising talent in the food industry around the world.


Sanpellegrino has initiated this exciting new global competition to find the world’s best Young Chef. Over 3000 entries were received from around the globe, ALMA College in Italy selected 10 chefs from 20 zones around the globe to a cook-off! The cook off for the Australia Pacific area took place at Crown Resorts Culinarium Kitchen at Crown Metropol. And it was a day of action! The pressure was on these young chefs to perform under the gazing eye of top chefs as judges/jury. The day started with the young chefs accessing ingredients for their "signature" dishes from Queen Victoria Markets. They then had to cook 3 serves of their signature dish in front of the judges at the Crown Resorts Culinarium Kitchen in Crown Metropol.


The judges scored each finalist in five categories: ingredients, skill, originality, presentation and overall message.

Peter Gunn is a worthy winner, having been Sous Chef at Attica for 4 years, and who has his own pop up IDES in Melbourne.

The World Loves Melbourne salutes all the finalists including Chris Chilvers from Elbow Room in South Australia, Hajime Horiguchi from Sushi Minamishima in Victoria, Jordan Gerhardy from Noosa Beach House in Queensland, Kay-Lene-Tan from The European in Victoria, Peter Gunn from Attica in Victoria, Punit Fernandes from Mesh in Victoria, Richard Crawford from Salt House in Queensland, Thomas Hishon from Orphans Kitchen in New Zealand, William Mordido from Chikos Restaurant and Cafe in New Zealand, and Xin Jing from Corcoro Japanese Restaurant in New Zealand.

Another Melbourne chef finished a close second. The European's Kay-Lene Tan presented a panna cotta described by Jacques Reymond during his speech as among the best he had ever tasted.


Third place was taken by Chris Chilvers, the sous-chef at South Australia's Elbow Room, for his wood-roasted South Australian cockles with glazed eel, native succulents and lamb consommé.

The dinner at No 8 was exceptional, and thanks to Hothouse Media for a stunning night.  

Beetroot cured Hiramasa Kingfish, smoked paprika yoghurt and sorrel was a delightful dish, with pleasingly thicker slices of Kingfish.


An iconic dish of No 8 is the Heritage tomato salad burrata mozzarella, brown butter, and chia seed. This dish is a song of the tomato, featuring everything that's great about tomatoes and nuances of a great salad. The World Loves Melbourne was excited that this was included in the menu.


No 8 delivered in this 5 course menu for a significant foodie event. Wines were also exceptional, with this restaurant known for its strong wine list. Of course S. Pellegrino and Acqua Panna were freely flowing...


Another icon dish is the Confit Ora King Salmon with sweet corn, crab, chilli and soy salt. This is a dish with finesse but honours the wonder of the Ora King Salmon. The World Loves Melbourne greatly enjoys Ora King Salmon, the pride of New Zealand with its unique texture and creaminess. We've had the pleasure of the New Zealand Ambassador for Ora King Salmon explaining the benefits and nuances of this great fish. The World Loves Melbourne notes Ora King Salmon is being seen on more and more Melbourne and Australian menus. John Lawson has been a master of Confit Ora King Salmon for some time.

Sher Wagyu strip loin with oyster leaf, bone marrow and red wine jus was a delectable meat cameo. Fine grains of the meat cut can be seen in the photo below, and the delicious fat and bone marrow were beckoning.


A green salad was the perfect accompaniment...


Dessert was no less spectacular with Dark chocolate ganache with strawberry sorbet and beetroot. The advent of beetroot in desserts has been an interesting development. The World Loves Melbourne enjoyed the sorbet but couldn't get enough of the ganache.


The S. Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 was an epic event and a major investment into the industry and its rising talent. All eyes are now on Milan...

No. 8 by John Lawson on Urbanspoon