The international jury of seven top chefs (Seven Sages) responsible for selecting the eventual SPYC 2016 winner have already explained the qualities they are seeking in SPYC 2016 chef contestants in the Top Jury Roundup #1.
We caught up with the Seven Sages for a second instalment of revealing insight into their thoughts and reflections for this year’s competition.
In what way can top chefs be a guidance, other than as an inspiration, for the new generation of chefs ?
Gaggan Anand: We'll have set an example of being a culinary ambassador responsibly and show that you can't just be a rebel and show your arrogance. Being humble and approachable is most important so when the young chefs look up to us as coaches we gain their respect for our attitude not just food.
Elena Arzak: We would like to transmit to them the synthesis of our experience, the confidence in themselves and the pride of being a chef. Also show them that perseverance, determination and hardwork are the only ways of achieving results.
Mauro Colagreco: By giving the example of hard work, humility and ethic attitude.
Carlo Cracco: When it comes to competitions, I am interested in training and developing the potential of young chefs, providing them with a support to lean on. Paolo Griffa, last year’s Italian finalist, knew he could count on all of us jury members. Throughout the world, we chefs are constantly researching and churning out new ideas. Rather than seeking mere success, we are interested in defining an even stronger identity. Our cuisine is not one that relies on colour and folksy gimmicks but it is a serious business, carried on by young people who neither fear hard work nor competition from the rest of the world, and have strong ideas and values with regard to topics such as the territory and biodiversity.
Wylie Dufresne: I think our job is to help them remember that you have to look backward as you often as you look forward…that we have to honour the history of the great chefs who came before us and learn from them, and their traditions and techniques.
David Higgs: Lead by example, be part of what he is dreaming of becoming and support the ideas he or she puts on the table constructively. It's easy to break someone but the important thing is the building after. Discipline in a kitchen is vital I believe.
Roberta Sudbrack: We have been down a long way, but the best example we can give is just to show that in spite of this long path taken, we didn’t stop, didn’t stagnate and didn’t give up to continue treading new ground in pursuit of excellence.
This is your first time being involved in the competition. What do you expect from the upcoming edition of SPYC?
Gaggan Anand: Seeing the next young chef who might change the world of gastronomy.
Roberta Sudbrack: To experience an environment of exchange, determination, resilience and passion for the career.
In 2015 you played a role in one of the 20 local juries and now you're coming back as final jury member: what do you expect from SPYC 2016?
Elena Arzak: I the found last edition very enriching and rewarding and I am very glad to return.
Carlo Cracco: I expect our side to win! It’s not so much about winning, though: the really enjoyable part is the competition itself, the environment and the way it is run. Its purpose is to help these youngsters mature by enabling them to interface with people of different cultures, origins, training and cuisine. Compared to last year’s edition, now there is a shared awareness and a desire to raise the standards: it has become an aspirational thing.
Mauro Colagreco: This time I think there will be even more responsibility because we will choose the young chef that will be the best of all participants around the world. I always think we have the responsibility of doing our best as we are an example for young chefs that are the future of Gastronomy.
Wylie Dufresne: This is such a great event and the spirit at this competition is so different from the usual cutthroat battles. The energy at SPYC is refreshing. People really help each other. I look forward to seeing that again and being a part of it all.
David Higgs: The level of this competition was incredible in 2015. And to see the competition grow from the previous format to whit it is now was great for me. It has become a true test of skill and competency for the young chefs. So I look forward to seeing what the world of young chefs brings us as jurors in 2016. I know it will be of a very high level again and when you look at the mentors and jurors you will soon realise the level at which this competition operates. I would encourage every young chef to enter and start working on their concepts.