S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water today announced 10 ten U.S. semifinalists in the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 competition. The group of talented young chefs will compete this October in New York City for the chance to be named the U.S. representative in the competition’s global finale in 2018.

S.Pellegrino also unveiled the panel of acclaimed culinary judges who will evaluate all ten dishes and determine which young chef will advance to compete in the finale.

The panel includes:

Dave Beran, Dialogue, Santa Monica, CA

April Bloomfield, The Spotted Pig and The Breslin Bar & Dining Room, New York, NY

Gavin Kaysen, Spoon and Stable and Bellecour, Minneapolis, MN

Mitch Lienhard, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA (S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 Winner)

Daniela Soto-Innes, Cosme and Atla, New York, NY

Chef Gavin Kaysen will also serve as the 2018 chef mentor, working closely with the U.S. young chef representative to refine his or her dish before the final competition.  He will also accompany him or her to the finale, providing support throughout the event.

Now in its third edition, S.Pellegrino Young Chef received submissions from more than 2,000 chef applicants across an expanded 21 global regions. The S.Pellegrino Young Chef regional finalists were carefully chosen by a panel of culinary experts from ALMA, the world’s leading international school of Italian cuisine.

The 10 U.S. semifinalists are:

  • Marco Bahena, L3 Hospitality Group, Chicago, IL
  • Vincent Brady, The Country Club, Pepper Pike, OH
  • Nikk Burton, California Grill, Orlando, FL
  • Dan Kennedy, Volt Restaurant, Frederick, MD
  • Pablo Lamon, 27 Bar and Restaurant, Miami Beach, FL
  • Juventino Magaña, Juventino Magaña Consulting, Las Vegas, NV
  • Jose Alfonso Rodriguez Portillo, Baleen Restaurant at La Playa Golf and Resort, Naples, FL
  • Francesca Rufo, The Marine Room, San Diego, CA
  • John Taube IV, The NoMad Hotel, New York, NY
  • Tim Tokarz, Grace, Chicago, IL

“We have a strong legacy of promoting creative expression and innovation within the culinary industry and are proud to continue this support for the third straight year with the S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition,” said Adaora Ugokwe, Senior Marketing Manager for S.Pellegrino. “Last year we were thrilled our U.S. representative Chef Mitch Lienhard took home the global title and are excited for the competitors in the Young Chef U.S. semifinals to demonstrate a whole new level of creativity, guided by the expertise of our impressive group of chef judges and mentor.”

The U.S. regional competition will take place on October 17 at 4 World Trade in New York City. Each chef contestant will produce his or her signature dish to be judged by the aforementioned panel of chef judges. One chef will be named the winner and move on to the final global competition.  At the Young Chef Grand Finale, finalists from 21 regions across the globe will present their signature dishes to a jury of seven distinguished international chefs, also known as the “Seven Sages”. Past “Seven Sages” have included chefs Mauro Colagreco, Gaggan Anand, Wylie Dufresne, Massimo Bottura and Grant Achatz.

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