Canada’s best to compete for coveted title of best Young Chef

International culinary competition, S.Pellegrino Young Chef, announces 10 Canadian semi-finalists

Press release

The 2018 S.Pellegrino Young Chef Competition inches closer as more than 200 chefs from around the world are selected to compete at semi-final competitions. Canada’s ten semi-finalists hail from coast-to-coast and showcase signature dishes diverse in heritage and culinary landscape.

Canadian semi-finalists include: Alessandro Bergamo (Maison Boulud, Montréal, QC), Benjamin Mauroy-Langlais(Automne, Montréal, QC), Dominic Giroux (L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Montréal, QC), Jean-Philippe Cloutier (Beckta Dining & Wine, Ottawa, ON), John Ngo (Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, ON), Mark Classen (Villa Eyrie Resort, Malahat, BC), Oh Jun Kwon (Omaw, Toronto, ON), and Amanda Lambert (North 44, Toronto, ON). Jorge Muñoz Santos (Bar Oso, Whistler, BC) and Yoann Therer (Araxi Restaurant, Brackendale, BC) compete for a second year, with both chefs having mentored with celebrated chef James Walt of Araxi Restaurant.

Chef hopefuls will compete against each other and the clock at the Canadian semi-finals on October 2, 2017 at the Art Gallery of Ontario. On stage feedback will be given in front of a live audience, where jurors Anthony Walsh (Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants, Toronto, ON), Joël Watanabe (Kissa Tanto and Bao Bei, Vancouver, BC), Todd Perrin (Mallard Cottage, St. John’s, NF), Riccardo Bertolino (Maison Boulud, Montreal, QC) and Jen Agg (Grey Gardens, The Black Hoof, Cocktail Bar, Rhum Corner, Toronto, ON and Agrikol, Montreal QC) will evaluate dishes based on the five “Golden Rules.” One chef will emerge victorious, winning a mentorship with a leading Canadian chef, before advancing to compete for the 2018 S.Pellegrino Young Chef title in Milan.

The S.Pellegrino Young Chef Competition offers a platform for young chefs to learn from industry heavy weights, like Normand Laprise of Toqué! and Brasserie T!, and 2016 mentor chef to Canadian winner Sean MacDonald.

“Beyond creativity, a chef needs discipline, repetition and perseverance to get a dish right. A mentor can influence that work ethic, ultimately preparing a chef for continuous culinary excellence,” said Normand Laprise. “With Canada’s unique climates and terroir, we have no issue with creativity. You match that with hard work, and I’m confident we will go far.”

Semi-finalists were selected based on the five golden rules: ingredients, skill, genius, beauty and message by experts at ALMA, the World’s Leading International Educational and Training Centre for Italian Cuisine. Exclusive content will be published regularly on and, the online magazine for food enthusiasts proudly endorsed by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna.


S.Pellegrino, Acqua Panna and Sanpellegrino Sparkling Fruit Beverages are international trademarks of Milan, Italy-based Sanpellegrino S.p.A.. Distributed in over 130 countries through branches and distributors in all five continents, these quality products represent excellence and perfectly interpret Italian style worldwide as a synthesis of pleasure, health and well-being.

Founded in 1899, Sanpellegrino S.p.A. is the leading company in Italy’s beverage sector with its range of mineral waters, non-alcoholic aperitifs, drinks and iced teas. As a major Italian mineral water producer, the Company has always been committed to working responsibly and passionately to ensure that this good-for-the-planet resource has a secure future.

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