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In search for talent: S.Pellegrino Young Chef is back!

The most exciting talent search for talented young chefs is on its way! Discover all the competition changes: applications start on 4th February.

By FDL on

S.Pellegrino Young Chef is back! The most exciting talent search for talented young chefs in the world returns is going to start and promises to be the biggest and best yet, supported as always by some of the best top chefs in the world.

Thousands of young chefs worldwide have already passed through the first three editions of the competition. Mark Moriarty from Ireland, Mitch Lienhard from US and Yasuhiro Fujio from Japan were crowned winners in the first three editions and each of them has been on an incredible journey since. Forming professional and personal alliances and notching up global experiences the world of gastronomy has opened up to them, as only this competition knows how.

With the new competition, other talented young chefs will be given professional mentorship on their path to the international stage where they will need to demonstrate not only their technical skills and creativity but also a personal belief in their winning dish. At the Grand Finale in 2020, seven of the best chefs in the world will decide the regional finalists’ fate. The S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition is the crown jewel of an ambitious long-term goal S.Pellegrino set in facilitating the emergence of the future gastronomy community through mentoring activities.

Online applications open on 4 February: don’t miss your chance to become a shining star and be the S. Pellegrino Young Chef 2020.

Find out a few competition changes of the new edition!

12 Competing World Regions

Worldwide candidates will be divided into 12 global regions, instead of 21. Up to 15 young chef candidates will be shortlisted per region to compete in the regional finals.

New Awards

Each young chef competitor has the chance to shine even brighter in this new competition. A number of new awards have been introduced at both a regional final level as well as at the Grand Finale in this new edition. At each Regional Final round, four winners will be announced. In addition to crowning the Regional Finalist for S. Pellegrino Young Chef there will also be the following new awards up for grabs:

  • S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility, voted by an internationally recognized voice on Sustainability in food, for the dish that will represent the principle of socially responsible practises.
  • Acqua Panna Award, voted for by mentors representing 50 countries around the world, for the dish that will be the one that reflects the perfect connection between different cultures on the plate.
  • Fine Dining Lovers Food for Thoughts Award, voted for by the online Fine Dining Lovers community, for the young chefs that best represent their personal belief within their dish.

These awards will also be presented at the Grand Finale, along with the final winner of S. Pellegrino Young Chef 2020.


All regional semi-finalists will be allocated a professional chef mentor in the spirit of collaboration and support from the top down. This professional mentorship will add an invaluable new layer of support allowing all the young talents succeeding in the application round to prepare fully for one of the 12 regional competitions. This is in addition to final mentorship of a renowned chef that each regional finalist will be allocated ahead of the Grand Finale, as per previous editions.

Golden Rules

This year, the “Golden Rules” used to assess each young chef fall into three categories instead of five:

  • Technical skills
  • Creativity
  • Personal belief

Candidates will have their applications evaluated by ALMA, International School of Italian Cuisine against the Golden Rules in order to be shortlisted for the regional finals.

Who can apply

Any young chef in the world can apply to represent one of 50 key countries along with their signature dish recipe (a first or main course).

To qualify, chefs must be 30-years-old or younger and have at least one year of experience working in a restaurant as a chef, sous chef or chef de partie. The complete list of competition requirements will be available on the application website.

What now?

Start exploring and researching your signature dish and make sure you check your eligibility and the updated competition rules.

The full details of the competition and regulations will be soon available for download in English, Italian, Spanish, Chinese Mandarin, Russian, Japanese, French, Portuguese and German.

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