When the art of sailing and fine dining come together it's always a celebration. Those two quintessential Italian pastimes will be honored at the 13th annual S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup in Venice.
Just days away, the event is a type of regatta for foodies where 10 of the world's young talented chefs will compete for the prestigious Acqua Panna & S.Pellegrino 2013 Young Chef of the Year Award.
The chefs will prepare their signature dishes onboard as sailors race from Il Lido in Venice to the Island of San Giorgio. Guests will be able to join in all the fun events throughout the city on June 14-15th.
Ahead of the big event we'd like to introduce you to Stewart Wesson, one of the competing chefs. Wesson, 25, hails from Australia where he runs Public restaurant in Adelaide. Here's what he revealed to FDL:
Describe your cooking style with three keywords:
Fun, simple and flavorful.
Which is the first taste you remember and why?
I remember tasting strong cheese and not really liking the taste, it was to strong for me as a child, I love all cheeses now.
If you were a dish, which one would you be?
I would be a consommé, I really enjoy making consommé and I think you can tell how good a chef is by his consommés, they are layered with flavours but also very elegant and clean.
Which is the dish you prefer to prepare and the one you prefer to eat? Who or what is your main source of inspiration? A flavor, a situation, a dish you tried... And why?
The ingredients are mine main source of inspiration, when I get and amazing product in I build a dish around that. In Australia we are blessed with some of the world’s best produce and anytime you receive something special. it is really inspirational.
Tradition and innovation: which is the relationship with these words, and how is it applied to your cuisine?
You can't have innovation without the tradition, all traditional techniques and ways of cooking where innovational at some point in time, you need to know the traditional techniques as a base before you can start with innovational cuisine.
What is fine dining for you? How do you think new generations are changing this idea and making it evolve?
Fine dining is the complete package, it’s not good enough to have good food, you have to have the service, the atmosphere, the matching beverages. You need everything to be perfect to be considered fine dining.
Which will be, according to you, the next big trend related to food and conviviality?
I believe that next food trend will be something that has already happened in the past, I believe that waste products like offals and cheaper vegetables will come back into fashion.
If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?
Still something in the food industry, I don’t think I could leave the industry.
Now a three-Michelin-star restaurant, Noma has changed, but not necessarily on the plate. According to Kenneth Foong, it's all about the way the team works, which is closer to a tech company than a traditional restaurant. Read our exclusive interview with Noma's head chef.