Yasuhiro Fujio wasn’t the only one to pick up awards this Sunday 13 May at closing ceremony of the Grand Finale of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018. Although the young Japanese chef was crowned winner, Elizabeth Puquio Landeo was also on the podium to receive the Fine Dining Lovers People's Choice Award, as voted for by all our readers.
FineDiningLovers managed to exchange a few words with the young Peruvian chef after the awards ceremony.
How do you feel about receiving the award?
I am very happy! I am Peruvian, and I know that many, many Peruvians voted for me.
Did you know about FineDiningLovers before receiving this award?
Of course! I discovered this media by applying for the S.Pellegrino Young Chef and since then I read it regularly.
Will you celebrate?
Yes, I'm going to celebrate tonight, and I think that in a sense we are all winners of this Grand Finale.
What would you like to say to the people who voted for you?
I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart because without their votes and without their support, I would never have received this prize!
And what would you like to say to your mentor, Rafael Osterling?
He is a great mentor who has helped me a lot and supported me in recent months. He taught me to trust myself in public and not to be afraid to express myself in English. I owe him a lot!
There were only two women among the 21 finalists. According to you, is it more difficult for a woman to impose herself in this universe?
I think there are fewer women who want to enter this kind of competition and I would like this award to encourage other young women to get started. Women need to show what they are capable of, no matter where we come from, we can achieve great things. I really hope that in the next edition there will be more women competing.
Watch the moment Elizabeth Puquio Landeo was announced as the winner of Fine Dining Lovers People's Choice Award below.