Chef Jerome Ianmark Calayag was crowned the winner after wowing the judges with his humble vegetables dish and will have the honour of representing the region at the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Finale in 2020 in Milan in 2020.
The Swedish chef from Restaurant Portal in Stockholm was joined on stage by three other notable young chefs during the award ceremony, recognised for the stand out elements 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 more about their culinary passon and how they they can contribute to the future of gastronomy.
Jerome Lanmark Calayag (Sweden), Winner of the UK and North Europe final
Signature Dish: "Humble Vegetables"
Why do you think your dish could win the Grand Finale?
I believe that my dish could win the Grand Finale because I have put a lot of thought into this dish. And also it is a dish that shows that we can make very delicious food out of sustainable produce.
How will you collaborate with your mentor in order to perfect your dish for the Grand Finale in Milan next year?
We are going to continue improving the dish by making the eating experience of the dish better and perfecting the small but decisive details of the dish.
What are your professional dreams or aspirations?
I want to open my own restaurant where I can cook the food that I want to cook. And where we can work sustainably and also spread the word!
Nicolas Fagundes Galindo (Ireland), Fine Dining Lovers Food for Thought Award
Signature Dish: "Flavors And Textures Of Palm And Ox Tongue."
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 expressed myself being true and honest to what I believe. The thought process was hard because at some stage you have to have many ideas so what I did was break them down to what message I was transmitting which was equality, local source of crafts and ingredients from Ireland with Brazilian tropicalness. I've made the ox tongue and palm heart equally important in my dish I wanted something that represents the dairy in Ireland so I made a blanket sauce using reduce Irish cream and both the ox tongue stock and palm stock infused with fresh tarragon and black truffle wine for earthiness. The dish was simple, however, representing my roots in Brazil, my time in Ireland and who I am at this present stage.
Pippa Lovell (UK), S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility
Signature dish: "What She Found"
Why do you think you won the S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility?
I won the award because it is who I am. I have opened a restaurant as a result of the practices in developing my competition dish and I have committed myself to creating global change. I genuinely believe we, as an industry, can be the vehicle for the preservation of our planet through our small choices everyday.
What are the most valuable sustainable practices to adopt as a chef, in your opinion?
Making sure you have joy in your day to day is vital for sustainability. If you love what you are doing - you will want to preserve it and you will begin to ask the question "how is this possible?". From then... you will develop a way as an individual to play your part in helping to save the planet. For me, the best way is to only use ingredients I can find within walking distance of my restaurant because only then am truly respecting the seasons again.
Timothee Martin-Nadaud (UK), Acqua Panna Award for Connection in Gastronomy
Signature dish: "The World Is Your Oyster"
Why do you think you won the Acqua Panna award for the connection in gastronomy?
I think I won because this award was exactly who I am and what my dish represents: bringing another look and mix of the culture around the world. Using local ingredients, bringing our expertise and adopting the culture of another country and assimilating that to your knowledge.
How is it possible to create a mixture of different cultures by creating something new?
Every small region in the world is unique. The north and south of England are completely different, it is the same for France and the rest of the world. Your way of cooking will be always different because everyone has a different background, knowledge, culture, origins... So your ways of cooking will be always unique.
Antonia Klugmann will be the mentor of the Italian finalist, Alessandro Bergamo, during the Grand Finale of S.Pellegrino Young Chef in October 2021. Fine Dining Lovers spoke to her about her life, her career and being a mentor.