The young chef representing Japan with his signature dish of "Across the sea" was picked from a final trio of 21 of the most talented young chefs in the world, to emerge victorious at the sparkling Grand Finale, held at SuperStudio in Milan tonight.
In front of a packed audience, his proud mentor Luca Fantin joined him in the spotlight as he received the award to enthusiastic applause from fellow chefs and food enthusiasts. Overwhelmed he joked "it had been his day" before making an emotional thankyou to his supporters.
Yasuhiro Fujio, who works at La Cime in Osaka, lifts the title from last competition's winner, Mitch Lienhardand Mark Moriartyin the inaugural edition in 2015, who were also on stage at this year's closing ceremony and recounted how important their respective wins have been to them.
Other suprises from the night included an on stage visit from Italian chef Massimo Bottura who spoke about the importance of "making a difference together" as well as revealing that he would be cooking the final gala dinner. Following on, there was a powerful performance by UK singer and ex chef, Tom Walker.
S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 Special Awards
In addition to the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 accolade, two other special awards were also awarded tonight:
The Fine Dining Lovers People's Choice Award, voted for in an online poll of 30,000 members of the public, went to Elizabeth PuquioLandeo who represented Latin America with her signature dish of Coastal fish dish that celebrated her mother.
The Acqua Panna Taste of Authenticity Award, as voted by the 21 mentor chefs, was also won by the Japanese finalist, a speechless Yasuhiro Fujio.