The Pacific regional final of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2020 took place in Sydney, Australia on 26 August 2019 with Jose Lorenzo Morales from Lûmé in Melbourne named S.Pellegrino Young Chef Pacific Region winner. The Commis Chef will now represent the region at the Grand Finale in Milan on 8th-9th May 2020.
Ten hopeful semi-finalists from across New Zealand and Australia faced off at the live cooking competition presenting their signature dishes to the local jury, of five professional chefs; Peter Gilmore (Quay, Bennelong), Jock Zonfrillo (Restaurant Orana, Bistro Blackwood), Danielle Alvarez (Fred’s). Dan Hunter (Brae) and Christine Manfield(Leader in the culinary industry) for adjudication.
The young chefs had just five hours to work their magic in the kitchen and it was Jose's dish Analogy of roasted lechón pork belly, shrimp bogoong paste, pandan rice cracker, latik caramel, and tamarind powder that managed to wow the chefs the most, securing his place in the final.
Speaking of his win a jubilant Jose commented: “What encouraged me to pursue this competition was the fact that it was substantially about using culture and humanity as our vessel to move forward and prevent the earth from its endangering concerns. I am so humbled that what I believe in makes sense, and it was appreciated by the biggest culinary icons - Danielle Alvarez, Christine Manfield, Peter Gilmore, Dan Hunter, and Jock Zonfrillo. More than ever, I’m driven and hungry to express my thoughts through food, not only to the Pacific, but to the world and am very excited to collaborate with all the brilliant minds at the Finale”.
John Rivera, Head Chef Lûmé and Young Chef Pacific Region Winner 2017, will serve as Jose's mentor and professional support in the forthcoming month preparing him for the challenge that lies ahead at the Grand Finale.
Standing alongside Jose on the podium were three of his peers, awarded three new awards designed to reflect S.Pellegrino’s belief in and support of, the transformative power of gastronomy and its impact beyond the kitchen.
All of the winners of the additional three awards will also be invited to attend the Grand Finale as guests, affording them another opportunity to network with some of the biggest names in gastronomy from around the globe.
Here are the three additional award winners in S.Pellegrino Young Chef Pacific final:
S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility
Voted by an internationally recognized voice on sustainability in food, for the dish that will represent the principle of socially responsible practises.
WINNER: Kezia Kristel – Chef de Partie, Icebergs Dining Room and Bar (Sydney): Experiencing Mushrooms in Flavours and Savoury Carrot
MENTOR: Karen Doyle, Le Cordon Bleu
Acqua Panna Award
Voted for by mentors representing 50 countries around the world, for the dish that will be the one that reflects the perfect connection between different cultures on the plate.
WINNER: James Bond-Kennedy – Sous Chef, Restaurant IGNI (South Geelong, VIC): Great Ocean Duck, And Its Seasonal Feed!
MENTOR: Greg Clarke, Owner and Head Farmer of Great Ocean Road Duck
Fine Dining Lovers Food for Thought Award
An award voted for by the online Fine Dining Lovers community, for the young chefs that best represent their personal belief within their dish.
WINNER: Abhijit Dey – Sous Chef, SO Auckland (Auckland): Horopito Cured Wild Venison Cooked over Kanuka Wood, Karamu Berries and Feijoa Cream with Celeriac and Melson Valley Saffron Reduction
MENTOR: Marc de Passorio, SO Auckland
We'll keep you updated with live updates and news as it happens, be sure to follow #SPYoungChef!