South East Asia Local Competition: The Jury is Confirmed
The South East Asia jury for the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Local Competitions 2017 includes an exciting line-up of some of the most talked about names across the region: José Luis 'Chele' González, Richard Ekkebus, Vicky Lau, Mingoo Kang and Tetsuya Wakuda.
The five pioneering chefs and regulars on Asia’s and the World’s 50 Best Restaurants circuit will select the best young chef in the region during the local competition, according to the criteria stipulated in the Golden Rules.
The lucky finalist will have the unique chance to be mentored by one of the chef jurors right up until the Grand Finale in Milan in May 2018 when they will compete on the world stage for the title of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018.
Meet the South East Asia Local Jury
José Luis 'Chele' González - The Philippines
Spanish born chef Chele González received a culinary degree from Artxanda, Bilbao, before going on to cook at some of the world’s best restaurants, including Arzak, El Bulli, El Celler de Can Roca and Mugaritz. He later moved to the Philippines, opening Gallery Vask in Manila in partnership with artist and architect Calma, featuring Anthropological Cuisine. The restaurant sits at no. 35 on Asia’s 50 Best restaurants list 2017.
Richard Ekkebus – Hong Kong
Chef Richard Ekkebus honed his skills in native Netherlands, as well as with some great French chefs including Pierre Gagnaire, Alain Passard and Guy Savoy. Exploring his love of world cuisine was an opportunity for him to head overseas where he perfected his classical training in French cuisine at the two Michelin starred Amber Restaurant at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, where he is presently the Culinary Director. Offering contemporary French cuisine, Amber Restaurant is positioned No.24 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017 and is the only restaurant in Hong Kong on this prestigious list.
Vicky Lau – Hong Kong
Returning Young Chef juror, Vicky Lau, came to the kitchen later in life after beginning a career as a graphic designer. However, once her passion for the culinary arts took hold, she enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu in Bangkok. Lau later honed her skills at the Michelin-starred Cépage in Hong Kong before opening her own French and Asian influenced restaurant, Tate Dining Room, in 2012. Lau was also named Veuve Clicquot Asia’s Best Female Chef in 2015.
Mingoo Kang – South Korea
Mingoo Kang hails from Michelin starred Mingles restaurant in Seoul, no.15 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list, where he has put new and contemporary Korean cuisine on the culinary map. He originally trained under Martin Berasetegui in San Sebastian but it was stints at Nobu in Miami and the Bahamas that formed his approach to Korean food.
Tetsuya Wakuda – Singapore
Japanese-born chef and restaurateur Tetsuya Wakuda first cut his culinary teeth in Australia where his hard work was realised in Tetsuya’s Restaurant right in the centre of Sydney. Drawing on his roots, his Japanese inspired cuisine has also translated into his latest venture, Waku Ghin in Singapore. The Michelin starred restaurant has already been recognised at no.20 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list and reflects his love of modern, elegant and sophisticated Japanese cuisine.