Now in its 12th year, the S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup, with its regatta and simultaneous cooking competition, once again celebrated excellence in two distinctively Italian passions – sailing and fine dining – against the magical backdrop of Venice’s lagoon. With the race held between the Lido of Venice and the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, the event welcomes every year international sailors, skippers, chefs and fine dining lovers to this unique weekend, whose end saw winners in various categories, both sailing and culinary.
The events begun on Friday evening, with a welcome dinner where the participants gathered together to present the 10 young participant chefs. Each of the chefs, who come from all over the world, prepared their “signature” dish for the dinner, and at the end of the evening, the voting took place for the winner. The announcement, however, was only made at the end of the regatta itself, during the Gala dinner on Saturday.
The challenge comes during the race, when, as the skipper and crews from international vessels are working hard to make the best time, while each boat’s chosen chef is busy down in galley, battling gravity and the clock to make a dish that will impress this year's jury of the event (in the group picture below), comprised of last year's winner Daniel Berlin and an international A-list of chefs like Davide Scabin, Massimo Bottura and Mauro Colagreco, among others.
But there is more. For the first time in the 12-edition history of the event, the ingredients were the same for everyone: every chef will had to decide what to cook choosing from a Mystery Basket that S.Pellegrino opened just few days before the event. Curious to know what there was inside it? Don't miss the list, and if you still want to feel like one of the chefs, try preparing a recipe too or suggesting a dish you like made using the same ingredients, and then share your ideas with us by sending us your pictures on S.Pellegrino Facebook page.
Once each vessel has reached the arrival mark, the chef must disembark and go aboard the Timoteo, the yacht belonging to honorary jury member Vittorio Missoni, and present the prepared dish, which have been judged according to three main criteria: taste, presentation and pairing with water and wine.
The regatta, instead, was judged by a separate panel of sailing experts. And the weekend culminated with the Gala Dinner on Saturday, when the S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup Trophy Inside the Cooking was given to the boat that best combined cooking ability and sailing skill, which this year went to Australia, with the chef Richard Ousby (he conquered also the first position in the ranking of the Acqua Panna & S.Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year Award).
The Israeli team, together with chef David Frenkel conquered the third edition of the Acqua Panna People’s Choice Award.