The world’s largest international culinary competition and young chef talent search has awarded Japan’s Yasuhiro Fujio as reigning S. Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 champion following three competitive culinary rounds that took place before a grand jury of seven industry heavyweights including, Virgilio Martínez, Margarita Forés, Brett Graham, Annie Féolde, Dominique Crenn, Ana Roš and Paul Pairet. Yasuhiro Fujio’s signature dish, Across the Sea, wowed the grand jury with the help of his mentor, Luca Fantin, of Il Ristorante Luca Fantin in Tokyo, Japan. Fujio also received special recognition, winning the first-ever Taste of Authenticity by Acqua Panna Award after showing strength in his use of local Japanese ingredients and paying tribute to Japan’s cultural heritage
Canadian representative and Montreal local, Benjamin Mauroy-Langlais made Canada proud, with his signature dish, smoked eel and celeriac, which he perfected under the guidance of mentor chef Riccardo Bertolino (Maison Boulud, Montreal, QC). Mauroy-Langlais competed before a notable jury last October at the Canadian semi-finals held at Toronto’s AGO. Canada’s jurors included Anthony Walsh, of Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants inToronto, Ontario; Joël Watanabe, of Kissa Tanto and Bao Bei, in Vancouver, B.C.; Todd Perrin, of Mallard Cottage in St. John’s, Newfoundland; Riccardo Bertolino, of Maison Boulud in Montreal, Quebec; and Jen Agg, of Grey Gardens, the Black Hoof, Cocktail Bar and Rhum Corner in Toronto, and Agrikol in Montreal.
Yasuhiro Fujio now reigns alongside previous young chef champions – Ireland’s Mark Moriarty (2015) and USA’s Mitch Lienhard (2016) – and will embark on an exciting journey with S. Pellegrino to support and develop his culinary expertise and ultimately help shape the future of gastronomy. “At S. Pellegrino, we are driven by a strong passion for gastronomy. That’s why some years ago we started thinking about how we could contribute to it. But we wanted something that could really make a difference,” said Federico Sarzi Braga, President and CEO of Sanpellegrino Group.”Now that we have closed our third edition of S. Pellegrino Young Chef, we can say that it is really fulfilling its purpose: supporting and developing young talent. The best we can do for gastronomy is continue to nurture talent and passion.”
At the end of the night, a community of 30,000 voted through Finedininglovers.com to select South America’s Elizabeth Puquio Landeo as the People’s Choice Award winner with her signature dish, Pescado de la Costa. The cooking sessions and awards ceremony were live-streamed globally on Finedininglovers.com and Sanpellegrino.com, and on their Facebook pages.
About San 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.