The North East Asia jury includes five inspiring chefs from across the region; Vicky Lau (Hong Kong), Julien Royer (Singapore), Tony Boy Escalante (Philippines), Lanshu Chen (Taiwan) and Yim Jungsik (South Korea).
The team will be charged with selecting a young chef from the regional live cooking competition to go on to the next phase of the challenge representing the area at the Grand Final in Milan in the quest for the title of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016.
Vicky Lau's journey to becoming a chef was an unconventional one having started out as a graphic designer before her passion for the culinary arts took over. She attended the prestigious Grand Diploma at Le Cordon Bleu in Bangkok and honed her skills at the Michelin-starred Cépage in Hong Kong before opening her own restaurant, Tate Dining Room, in 2012.
French born chef Julien Royer is well known for his modern French cooking style and respect for ingredients, both assets he honed working with the chefs Michel Bras and Bernard Andrieux. Having elevated Jaan at Swissotel in Singapore to great heights he has recently opened his own restaurant Odette at National Gallery Singapore in collaboration with the Lo & Behold group.
Chef and owner Tony Boy Escalante developed a love of food from his family at an early age and after a brief detour into other professions he set about pursuing his life’s passion by studying food and working in a number of restaurants in Australia and Manila. He manages a portfolio of restaurants including fine dining restaurant Antonio’s, Breakfast at Antonio’s and The Grill by Antonio’s serving home-style Filipino cuisine.
Lanshu Chen completed her training at the Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts in Paris before embarking on her career under the guidance of some of the most celebrated chefs and restaurants, including Pierre Hermé, Les Ambassadeurs and California’s The French Laundry. Today, chef Chen is executive chef of Relais & Chateau's Le Moût listed #30 in Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2016 located in Taichung city in west Taiwan. Combining French culinary traditions with the local ingredients and influences that she grew up with, chef Chen is renowned for her uncompromisingly high standards and innovative dishes.
Chef Yim Jungsik began his culinary career during his army days which inspired him to cook professionally. Going on to pursue an education at the Culinary Institute of America he also completed apprenticeships at Aquavit and Bouley. He went on to work in Spain at Zuberoa and Akelarre. Upon returning home to Korea he opened JungSik pioneering nouvelle cuisine in Korean food listed at #22 in Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2016.
Please note: being a role that requires close guidance, the area mentor will be chosen following the local final, depending on the home country of the finalist.
NB. Due to upcoming commitments, Chef Umberto Bombana (previously in the NEA Jury) and chef Julien Royer (previously in the SEA Jury) have switched positions in the respective Juries.