San Pellegrino Young Chef

The Most Exciting Talent Search for Chefs in the World

S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018: Discover the Jury for Mediterranean Countries

S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018: Discover the Jury for Mediterranean Countries

The jury for the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2017 Local Competitions in the Mediterranean Countries is composed of talented trio: Nikos Roussos, Haim Cohen and Ismet Saz.

The three chefs from across the Mediterranean will be charged with assessing the signature dishes of 10 regional semi-finalists during a live cooking competition in Tel Aviv on 10 July.

The judges will select just one winner, based on the criteria outlined in the Golden rules, who will take a bold step into the shoes of last year’s winner, Nicolaos Billis, and into the spotlight on the world stage at S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 Grand Finale

Meet the Local Jury for the Mediterranean Countries

Nikos Roussos – Greece
Athens born Nikos Roussos realised his dream in the kitchen after a brief detour into business administration and the family silversmith business. Enrolling at the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan he graduated in 2003 with a degree in culinary arts. After working in restaurants throughout Europe and the US, he returned to Greece in 2009 to establish together with his old culinary school class mate Georgianna Hiliadaki and her sister Argyro, the restaurant Funky Gourmet.

Funky Gourmet gained its first Michelin star in 2012, while in 2014 was established worldwide by gaining its second michelin star. In June 2014, Nikos and Georgianna together with London based Greek enterpreneurs, Andreas & Alexis Labridis opened their second venture, OPSO, a Modern Greek Food casual dining concept in London. 

Update 13/07/17: Following the announcement of the local finalist, Nikos Roussos will also perform the role of mentor helping to guide young chef, Constadina Voulgari, up until the Grand Finale in May 2018.

Haim Cohen - Israel

Chef, restaurant owner, culinary advisor, cookbook writer and the Judge on TV Phenomenon "Master Chef", Haim is considered one the founders of the Israeli fine dining scene and one of the leading chefs in Israel.

Generations of Chefs have learned to cook by using his cookbooks, and by watching him explaining the story behind the dishes on his many tv & radio shows, and today when chefs are looking for aspiration for a new menu, they come to enjoy his cooking in his known restaurant "Yaffo-Tel Aviv" in which he creates the ultimate combination of Israeli cuisine with a touch of European influence.   

Ismet Saz - Turkey
Cooking is second nature to Istanbul born chef Ismet Saz, "there is nothing as natural in my life as cooking,” which has led to the kitchen being both his life passion and career. Garnering experience overseas in America and the UK under some chef greats including Gordon Ramsay, Marcus Glocker and Gerath Evans in America Saz eventually brought his talents home. After working at some of the capital’s best establishments Saz is now the chef and owner of Istanbul’s Toi restaurant. His successful career has also seen him diversity onto the small screen as well as teaching in the classroom.

04/07/2017 updated 13/07/2017