The Team of Chefs Forming the USA Jury Has Been Announced
Chefs Dominique Crenn, Vinson Petrillo, Bryce Shuman, Alex Stupak and Emma Bengtsson will form the jury for the USA region in the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 contest - a global talent search to find the world’s best young chef.
The five professional chefs will be tasked with judging ten semi-finalists from across the USA in a live competition, selecting just one talented young chef to go through and represent the USA at the grand final in Milano 2016.
Ground breaking French/American chef, Dominique Crenn, will take on the dual role of both juror and mentor in this year's competition. Known as 'the chef who puts poetry on a plate' Crenn was the first female chef to receive the accolade of two Michelin stars in the USA. Her San Francisco restaurant, Atelier Crenn, serving modern French food, is testament to her unique 'poetic culineria'. Crenn's talent will be a great asset to the enthusiastic young regional finalist whom she will support and advise on improving their dish right up until the grand finale.
Crenn's French influenced food reflects her heritage having been born, raised and educated in France. She furthered her formal culinary training in San Francisco under the tutelage of San Francisco luminaries Jeremiah Tower and Mark Franz at the celebrated Stars as well as Campton Place and 2223 Market to name but a few. She went on to become the first female Executive Chef in Indonesia after heading up the InterContinental Hotel in Jakarta before returning to California and eventually the InterContinental Hotel, Luce, where she first got a taste of Michelin stars.
Last year's Young Chef USA regional finalist, Vinson Petrillo joins the team in a judging capacity this year. The young executive chef from restaurant Zero in Charleston, South Carolina attributes his fascination with food to growing up in an Italian family. Entering into a professional kitchen aged just 15 his culinary career has taken him from No.9, in Boston to the bright lights of NYC starting out at Caviar Russe going on to develop his skills in a number of top restaurants around the city.
Bryce Shuman of Betony restaurant NYC grew up in Chapel Hill, N.C. and was exposed to diverse food at a young age courtesy of his cultural anthropologist mother, from the Costa Rican jungle to the Arctic wilderness. Starting out cooking at a local N.C. restaurant his professional journey has taken him across the country where he has honed his skills in a number of restaurants including Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio, Rubicon and Daniel Humm’s Eleven Madison Park.
Massachusetts born Alex Stupak first blagged his way into a kitchen at just 12 years old in what was the start of an exciting professional journey reflecting his tireless creativity. A series of culinary competitions and professional scholarships catapulted him into a career in pastry in which he was hailed as a 'visionary' by Food and Wine. In an extraordinary change of path he traded in his pastry tools for a brief period in the 'modernist movement before his eventual passion for tacos shone through. He has since opened Mexican restaurants starting with Empellón Taqueria.
Finalising the team is Emma Bengtsson, Executive Chef at Aquavit restaurant, New York. Chef Bengtsson also boasts the accolade of being the second female chef in the U.S.A to run a two Michelin star kitchen as well as being the first ever Swedish female chef to do so. Her love of food was nurtured from a young age growing up in Sweden influenced by her grandmother's cookery skills. She consolidated her passion with formal training and professional kitchen experience in Stockholm before joining the Aquavit team.