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With the ticker tape settling and heart rates just about returning to normal, and with newly crowned S.Pellegrino Young Chef Yasuhiro Fujio still cradling his trophy, it was time for the competition’s gala dinner, cooked by the Seven Sages, the world class chefs tasked with choosing the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018.
Joining them at the Superstudio venue in Milan, Italy was Massimo Bottura and given his presence and continued work to eliminate food waste through his Food for Soul project, the theme was, naturally, zero waste, with each chef tasked with creating a delicious dish with not a scrap going to landfill. The dinner was also a great chance for the 21 competing young chef finalists to kick back and relax, and be cooked for themselves, after two intense days of cooking competition.
Massimo Bottura's dishes
Bottura kicked off the dinner with a spring chawanmushi (a kind of Japanese egg custard) of seasonal vegetables, with egg pasta miso and a “broth of everything.” Following that, Magarita Forés produced a dish using the entire taro plant, from the root to the stalk and leaves, served with dried baby shrimp and coconut milk, which was used to braise some of the leaves. The dish was served in a half coconut shell. “We wanted to show how you could use both the taro plant from root to top, without wasting anything, as well as using the coconut for so many things – in the Philippines we call it the fruit of life,” said Forés.
Margarita Forés' dish
Next up was Brett Graham, of London’s two-Michelin-star The Ledbury, who cooked a warm dumpling of sourdough and venison gravy with mustard fruit and rosemary (Graham currently rears his own deer), followed by Ultraviolet’s Paul Pairet, who chose to feature one of his favourite ingredients, oyster, raw, with a frozen, lemon-infused ‘sea foam.’ “This is how I like to eat oysters,” said the Shanghai-based, French chef.
Brett Graham's dish
Paul Pairet's dish
Ana Roš chose tripe as her main ingredient, cooked in a wild jus and served with cave-fermented Tolmin cheese, fava beans and fried nettles, while for Dominique Crenn it was all about the grains and seeds, served with fermented gels, and herbs and flowers.
Ana Roš's dish
Annie Féolde brought her Tuscan meat game, serving Casentino lamb shoulder with seven-tomato compote and a Tuscan pesto, while it was left to Virgilio Martínez to turn heads with his Amazonian chocolate dessert and send all those present home or onwards with wide smiles.