Top Tokyo chefs Yoshihiro Narisawa, Seiji Yamamoto and Luca Fantin have been announced as Japan's jury members for the local selection of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016.
The trio of experienced chefs will select one young finalist from the 10 regional contestants who will go on to compete against 19 other finalists from around the world at the Grand Final, held in Milan in October 2016. Each of the chefs was involved in S. Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 and will be demanding of the high standards expected in the 2016 contest.
Chef Yoshihiro Narisawawill from the dual role of juror and eventual mentor to Japan's regional finalist guiding the young chef through the tricky process of honing and perfecting his or her dish for the final. As one of the international judges in the Grand Final of SYPC 2015 Narisawa will make an ideal mentor already experienced in the challenge that lies ahead. Ranked #2 in Asia's 50 Best Restaurants for two consecutive years Yoshihiro Narisawa’s Tokyo restaurant Narisawais considered one of the finest restaurants in the world. He is famous for his sustainable and environmentally friendly gastronomic creations which have been recognised with two-Michelin stars.
Chef Seiji Yamamoto is known for his imaginative contemporary reinventions of traditional Japanese recipes at his 3-Michelin star Nihonryori Ryugin in Tokyo. Listed #5 in Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2016, Yamamoto is considered among Japan’s foremost practitioners of kaiseki: a succession of courses showcasing a variety of cooking methods and the seasons through intricately presented dishes.
Completing the line-up is executive chef Luca Fantin of contemporary Italian restaurant Bulgari Il Ristorante in Tokyo. Fantin has worked at some of the world’s most important restaurants - including the Mugaritz in San Sebastian, Spain and La Pergola in Rome, Italy. He uses top-quality raw materials that are elaborated with refined techniques and great creativity for which he has been recognised with a Michelin star.
Staff shortages are hitting the hospitality sector hard, prompting some restaurants to look outside the industry to train those without restaurant experience for life in the kitchen. Andrew Friedman finds out more.