S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016



Following the closing of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 registration on April 7, ten semi-finalists from Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands have been selected from thousands of applications submitted to FineDiningLovers.com.

Young chefs from more than ninety different countries submitted their applications together with their signature dishes, all sharing one dream: to compete in the 2016 edition of S.Pellegrino’s global talent search to find the best young chef in the world.

The event is an extraordinary opportunity for participants to compete and learn from other talent, gain global visibility, and associate with some of the most renowned chefs on the planet, such as the Seven Sages grand finale jury, David Higgs, Carlo Cracco, Gaggan Anand, Elena Arzak, Mauro Colagreco, Wylie Dufresne and Roberta Sudbrack.

There’s a long road ahead to the Young Chef finals in October, and ALMA—the world’s leading international educational and training centre for Italian Cuisine (www.alma.scuolacucina.it)—has already been hard at work. The acclaimed cooking school, in charge of the competition’s regional semi-finalists selection, divided the thousands of applications received into twenty geographic regions and selected ten semi-finalists from each region according to five Golden Rules: ingredients, skills, genius, beauty, and message.

The process was anything but easy,” said Andrea Sinigaglia, General Manager of ALMA. “Our chefs and experts worked hard in order to select just ten semifinalists for each region from so many interesting applications, so they have to make some tough decisions. The average skill level was quite high; it’s exciting to realize how many talented young chefs there are around  the world that have the potential and the passion to emerge—they’re just looking for their big break.” 

S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 offers young, talented chefs the ultimate opportunity. The program was created by S.Pellegrino to reaffirm its commitment to the promotion of emerging talents and to diffusing fine dining culture throughout the world.

Australia and New Zealand’s 10 selected semi-finalists include:

Joshua Gregory, Exp. Restaurant, Newcastle, New South Wales Australia

Joshua Ross, Logan Brown, Wellington, New Zealand

Kah-wai Lo, Matteo’s, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Zackary Furst, Ides, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Leslie Hottiaux, Apero Food & Wine, Auckland, New Zealand

Josh Barlow, The Grove Restaurant, Auckland, New Zealand

Gareth Robbs, Bistro Molines, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Jeremy Metivier, Cottage Point Inn, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Christopher Walker, Roots Restaurant, Christchurch, New Zealand

Tom Hishon, Orphans Kitchen, Auckland, New Zealand


Phase III of the project will take place from May 1st to August 15th, during which the semi-finalists of each region will compete in local challenges. Each region will have a jury composed of top independent chefs, who will judge the semi-finalists’ signature dishes and choose the best one, based on the five Golden Rules. The individual winners from each geographic area will then move on to the international finals.

For Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands the local challenge will be held on Monday 25th July at Crown Culinarium, Melbourne. The Judging panel will consist of; Peter Gilmore, Quay, Peter Doyle, Est and Jacques Reymond, L’Hotel Gitan, with the addition of Andrew McConnell, Supernormal; and Adam D’Sylva, Coda

At the end of August, the twenty best local young chefs from each region of the world will be announced as the international official finalists. At this stage, they will also be assigned a “Mentor Chef”, who will advise them on how to improve their signature dishes and help them prepare for the global finals.