The Iberian & Mediterranean Countries Regional Final of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2019-2020 took place on the 16 of September, with an outstanding show of talent from some of the most exciting young chefs from Spain, Portugal, Israel, and Greece.
Albert Manso was crowned the winner after wowing the judges with his Quail and Wine signature dish and will have the honour of representing the region at the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Finale in 2020 in Milan in 2020.
The sous chef from Tickets Bar in Barcelona was not alone in his victory, he was joined on stage by three other notable young chefs during the award ceremony, recognised for the stand out elements s in their signature dish highlighting the transformative power of gastronomy and its impact beyond the kitchen, as follows:
S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility
For the dish that best reflects the principles of socially responsible practices
Acqua Panna Award for Connection in Gastronomy
For the chef able to connect several cultures through his dish
Fine Dining Lovers Food for Thoughts Award
For the young chef best representing his/her personal beliefs through his/her dish.
We spoke to each of the four award winners to find out what their win means to them and what they can add to the future of gastronomy.
Albert Manso, S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2019 Iberian and Mediterranean Regional Winner
Sous chef, Tickets Bar, Barcelona
Signature Dish: Quail and Wine
Why do you think your dish could win the Grand Finale in 2020?
Because it's a dish in which all the elements of the quail are used through a sequence of three phases so that nothing is wasted from the product, it's also a dish that represents a traditional Spanish cuisine and both the plating and crockery is at a high level.
How will you collaborate with your mentor in order to perfect your dish for the final?
With Henrique Sá Pessoa we will work to improve some plating, improve cooking points and it will help me improve my English to improve the explanation of the dish to the jury.
What are your professional dreams/aspirations?
My dream right now is to win the final of San Pellegrino young chef and my long-term dream would be to have my own restaurant.
Andrea Ravasio, Fine Dining Lovers Food for Thought Award
Sous Chef, Restaurant Kai, Tenerife
Signature dish: El Domingo Del Campesino
This prize is for the young chef who best represents their personal belief within their dish: how did you
transform your ideas into a dish?
I'm glad to get this prize because for me the transmission to the public of my gastronomic ideas and my cookery philosophy to the public is important.
My philosophy is to always use detail in my dishes, to bring the traditional Canary Islands cuisine to the public with its product, flavours and a modern touch, that makes you feel the geopolitical history of this beautiful archipelago. My dream is that through my creations to bring the Canary Islands to the people, to the world and to the future.
And the conquest of the Fine Dining Lovers Food for Thought Awards is the sign I'm on the right path!
Mengxin Zhou, S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility
Chef, 'Somiatruites Restaurant' , Igualada, Spain
Signature Dish: The Trout – Schubert
Why do you think you won the S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility?
It's my honour that the judges saw it from my dish. I hope that I make delicious dishes while respecting and cherishing the ingredients. I will keep working on it.
What are the most valuable sustainable practices to adopt as a chef, in your opinion?
Many great chefs are making efforts to this end. In my opinion, cherishing food and cutting food waste is something we can implement at any time, anywhere.
In my dish, I respect the ingredients. We make full use of fish, its dried meat as salt, we cook all of its parts including the head which we pressure cook to achieve different textures.
I believe reducing food waste is something that we should and we are trying to do now.
Óscar Dayas Rodríguez, Acqua Panna Award for Connection in Gastronomy
Chef, 'MAR Gastrotasca' - Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
Signature Dish: The Transhumance From The Coast, To The Summit
Why do you think you won the Acqua Panna award for the connection in gastronomy?
First of all thanks to the trust of all the mentors of my region! I want to thank you for choosing my dish, it has been a great pride to be able to receive the Acqua Panna Award and secondly, after 3 editions of the San Pellegrino Young Chef competing, I understand gastronomy through the connectivity of cultures
How is it possible to create a mixture of different cultures by creating something new?
Travelling and eating a lot, are my two passions! I believe that gastronomy has the ability to tear down borders and when you believe in gastronomy as something global it is much easier and especially when an international brand like San Pellegrino gives us this opportunity.