The Latin America regional final of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2020 has come to an end following a day of competitive cooking on 17 September in Peru's capital city, Lima with chef Cynthia Xrysw Ruelas Diaz being crowned regional champion.
The 25 year old chef from Xokol restaurant in Guadalajara, Mexico, managed to defeat 14 other hopeful young chefs from Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Chile Colombia and Mexico with the support of her mentor chef Francisco Ruano earning her the title of Best Young Chef in Latin America and the chance to defend the region in the global final.
Despite being up against stiff competition, her winning signature dish called "Milpa Y Mar" made with smoked smooth wrapped in beef tongue quelite and grilled blue corn dough was enough to impress the local jury, of five professional chefs; Jefferson Rueda (Brazil) , Carolina Bazan (Chile), Harry Sasson (Colombia), Elena Reygadas (Mexico) TBC and Pia Leon (Peru) that she was the best chef on the day.
"I am very happy. After all the effort and dedication these are the fruits and the proof that dreams can come true. Now, I will do everything to put Mexican cuisine on high," said Xrysw Ruelas of her win.
In addition to the regional title, three other young chefs were also awarded in this heat, to reflect the belief and support of S.Pellegrino to the transformative power of gastronomy and its impact beyond cooking. They will join the S.Pellegrino Young Chef award winner at the Grand Finale next year with a chance of winning the global title in their category:
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: Sebastián Pinzón Giraldo, chef from Celele Restaurante by Proyecto Cribe Lab in Cartagena, Columbia, with his signature dish of Cured Fish "Jurel" With Green Mango Spaghetti, Lacto Fermented Mandarin Lemon And Cold Infusion Of Sour Guava.
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: Abraham Almazán, chef of the Culinary Institute of Mexico (ICUM) in Puebla, Mexico, with his signature dish A Day in the Sierra Negra.
Fine Dining Lovers Food for Thought Award
Voted for by the online Fine Dining Lovers community, for the young chefs that best represent their personal belief within their dish.
Winner: Eliodoro Xicum, chef from Restaurant La Villa in Mérida, Mexico, with his signature dish Nohoch Ná (Gizzards Tamale With Cooked In Ash).
Stay tuned with #SPYoungChef for all the competition updates and news!