It's a matter of days before the festivities begin for the 2013 S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup in the beautiful city of Venice.
This exciting event is a 12-mile regatta for foodies which will take place between Il Lido in Venice and the Island of San Giorgio. As sailors race to the finish line chefs will be onboard preparing their best dishes to present to the judges of the Acqua Panna & S.Pellegrino 2013 Young Chef of the Year Award.
Members of the public will be able to feast on gourmet food and drinks at numerous events throught the city on June 14-15th. Ahead of the big day, we'd like you to meet one of the participating chefs.
We're pleased to introduce you to chef Yannick Van Aeken of restaurant Nede in Dublin. Van Aeken previously worked as sous chef at Noma, thrice voted the world's best restaurant.
Here's what he revealed:
Formerly you were…
I was privileged to be the sous chef of Mister Rene Redzepi at the former best restaurant in the world Noma in Denmark and this for the last three years. Recently, I started to build my own journey as an entrepreneur searching for the best products in Belgium and Ireland. I've used these fine products successfully in private events and pop up dinners.
You decided to become a chef because…
It was my grandmother and aunt, who taught me from childhood to enjoy the wide variety of original local tastes. They taught me the pleasure you can enjoy cooking passionately, even with basic products they grew on their farm. They taught me being a chef is not just a job but a true passion and a way of life
Your food philosophy is...
I love to work creatively with local seasonal products and regret to throw something away.
For your career your dream is...
My dream is to see people being really happy when they enjoy my food.
For your personal life your dream is….
Keep cooking and to make my loved ones really happy are the two main goals in my personal life.
What is your favourite dish? And why?
It may surprise you, but one of my favourite meals is a wide selection of charcuteries and raw meats, very popular in Belgium. I prefer to combine them with nice cheese and one of the hundreds of local kind of Belgian beers.
What would you like the judges to know about you?
Although sailing attracts me a lot, the two only times I sailed, my ship capsized or I was really seasick.
Did you meet any difficulty/obstacle to get where you are today?
In my training period and professional life, I travelled a lot. Being away from Belgium I met various language barriers. Nevertheless, I wouldn't change a thing, because every difficulty or obstacle was very educational. Where is the fun if everything is easy?
What does Italy or Italian mean to you?
Italy equals family to me, since from childhood, my parents took me to Italy during holiday. I fell in love with the perfect lemon gelato with its perfect balance.
What do you think of the Italian cuisine?
Italian kitchen is one of the most important cuisines in which you find a huge variety of styles and methods, not to forget their traditions that make it so even more special. I love Italian food!