In the 2019-2021 edition of S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy, for the first time, the S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility was awarded to the signature dish that was able to show that principles of sustainability enhance food. It is something that chef Sa Pessoa is very keen to pursue in his kitchen every day.
"I try to source sustainable ingredients, minimise waste, avoid the use of plastics and make my team conscious of day-to-day good practices," he says.
As a mentor in the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy competition, Sa Pessoa will take charge of the young chef Albert Manso Miras, who won for the Iberian and Mediterranean countries
"I hope to help him in getting a very clear idea of the dish he wants to present and express his intellectual property of the dish, as well as present it in the best way possible according to what the judges are looking for," says Sa Passoa.
While Sa Pessoa's mentorship in this competition will be tailored to the specific needs of Albert Manso Miras in order to help him win the competition, the Portuguese chef has insight for any young chef looking to make it in the world of gastronomy.
"Stay humble, stay true to yourself, believe in yourself, work hard, and try to be as original as you can be according to your background and experience," he says.
These are particular times that present particular challenges to young chefs, but Sa Pessoa is certain that things will bounce back better than before. By focusing on what's in front of us on the plate, we have a better chance of finding success in a post-pandemic future.
"Every year its a new trend but I think that the emphasis on health and sustainability are major concerns that are here to stay, and we all need to address it with an open heart and realise that we all play our part in the changes."