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In less than two weeks the S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup 2014 will sail through Venice. From June 13th to 14th, 10 world-class chefs will cook their best dishes aboard a ship racing from the Lido of Venice to San Giorgio Island in this unique regatta for foodies. The winner will walk away with the Acqua Panna & S.Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year 2014 Award.
In anticipation of the big event we'd like to introduce you the participating chefs one by one. First up is Jacob Davey, head chef of Est. Restaurant in Sydney, Australia. Davey specializes in modern Australian cuisine and is passionate about developing flavors through old techniques such as the natural preservation and fermentation of meat, fruit and vegetables.
Although he's just 28 years old, the chef looks forward to a future where he can teach and mentor young members of the industry, passing on the knowledge and skills he has garnered through his experience in the kitchen.
Here's what he had to say about his career and the dish he's preparing at the S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup 2014:
Describe yourself in three keywords.
Focused, calm, passionate.
How would you define your cooking style?
I have a refined cooking style and a focus on cooking with best, seasonal ingredients, with a focus on bring out the best of those ingredients with minimal intervention.
Which is your signature dish? Can you briefly describe it?
The dish I will be preparing, in line with my cooking style, utilizes what will be fresh and in season in and around Venice during my stay. It is a langoustine tartare scented with orange oil, placed underneath a thin sheet of scallop and squid ink mousse, with semi dried red and yellow cherry tomatoes, and a light langoustine consomme infused with fresh lemon verbena, garnished with borage and garlic flowers.
Who or what is your main source of inspiration? Why?
Working with great ingredients is my main source of inspiration, because every great dish begins with great ingredients.
Tradition and innovation: which is the relationship with these words in your cuisine?
I don’t believe you can be innovative with cuisine without first having a great understanding of cooking traditions and traditional cuisines. Any innovative steps I take with my cooking, is based on the knowledge and training I have gained in traditional techniques and preparations.
What is fine dining for you? How do you think the new generations are changing this idea and making it evolving?
Fine dining for me still means the whole package, highest quality in three facets; food, service and ambience. In recent times there has been a shift towards high quality food but with a more relaxed style of service and ambiance, this is a positive step however there is still a place for the highest level of gastronomy.
Next big trends related to food and conviviality?
I believe there will be an even greater shift towards preservation and fermentation at all levels of dining and the wide variety of new flavour profiles that can be achieved using these age old techniques.
The food you’d happily die eating.
Iberico Jamón, it is something I never grow tired of.
If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?