A talent search for chefs in the world came to an exhilarating close on last Sunday after three rounds of competitive cooking throughout the weekend, with Yasuhiro Fujio announced as the S Pellegrino Young Chef 2018.
Fujio’s impressive signature dish called “Across the Sea” wowed the esteemed grand jury during the announcement in Milan.
In winning the prestigious title, the young Japanese chef goes down in history alongside previous champions Mark Moriarty (2015) and Mitch Lienhard (2016) and also stands as a beacon of opportunity as he embarks on an exciting journey to help shape the future of gastronomy.
“I’m a little bit scared because I’m going to have to work even harder. Holding the title of S Pellegrino Young Chef is a big responsibility. What I’m going to do from now on is turn that fear into courage,” he said.
Chosen by the grand jury made up of giants of global gastronomy, Virgilio Martinez, Margarita Fores, Brett Graham, Annie Feolde, Dominique Crenn, Ana Ros and Paul Pairet, Fujio captivated the panel who were also enthralled with the overall standard of competition. The young chef was able to tell his own story in an original way through his signature dish.
“And now that we have closed our third edition of S Pellegrino Young Chef, we can say that it is really achieving purpose – supporting and developing young talent. The best we can do for gastronomy is to nurture talent and passion,” said Federico Sarzi Braga, president and chief executive officer of Sanpellegrino Group.
For the first time this year, 21 chef Mentors assigned the special recognition “Taste of Authenticity by Acqua Panna Award” that was also awarded to Fujio in recognition of his ability to value the local ingredients of Japan and highlight the richness of his own cultural background. Finally 30,000 voters, making up the online community of Fine Dining Lovers (www.finedininglovers.com) supported the progression of women in gastronomy by crowning Elizabeth Puquio Landeo (representing South America) with its People’s Choice Award.