The winner of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition regional final for Iberia has been announced, and it’s Nelson Freitas, who will now go on to represent his region at the Grand Finale in Milan.
Freitas impressed the jury - composed of chefs Eduard Xatruch, Maca de Castro and Miguel Rocha Vieira - with his dish of 'Crispy Red Mullet, Sea Urchin and Homemade Black Garlic', which he says was inspired by his connection with the ocean.
“My favourite part of my childhood is the sea, so that was my main inspiration for this signature dish,” he said. “I really want to transmit the ocean to everyone who tries the dish, especially because I'm from Viana do Castelo, and we have several traditions related to the sea, as getting up early and going to the beach to get seafood from the rocks. I remember the first time I tried a sea urchin, 100% sea. I want everyone to feel that flavour, that memory and get to know better Viana do Castelo by this dish.”
Miguel Rocha, Maca de Castro and Eduard Xatruch
There were other awards given out to participating young chefs. Danitza Alpaca Salinas was awarded the Fine Dining Lovers Food for Thought Award, as voted for by FDL’s readers, for her dish 'Countryside Shrimp'. She described the dish as rooted in the history of where her family comes from.
“The origin of the techniques and flavours of this dish comes from the city where my surname comes from,” she said. “From an emblematic family, who to this day represent historical flavours and maintain their roots, and above all from the great use that this region has made for centuries of the natural resources of its geography, such as rivers and countryside, where they ate from their own vegetable garden. This is a tribute to them.”
Francesco Sansalone was the recipient of the Acqua Panna Award for Connection in Gastronomy for his dish, 'The World is a Country'. The S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility was given to Artur Gomes, for his signature dish, 'Vale das Lobas' Celeriac.
Mythrayie Iyer from India was declared the winner of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition 2022-23 Regional Final for Africa, Middle East and South Asia (AMESA) held in Cape Town, South Africa.
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