21 chefs under 30 will compete in the grand finale of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 competition in Milan, Italy.

After being selected from thousands of applicants worldwide, the 21 finalists will represent their respective geographic regions from 11-13 May 2018.

The chefs will each put their skills to the test in front of a distinguished jury, known as the Seven Sages, made up of world-renowned chefs who will carefully assess each contender’s signature dish according to the four Golden Rules.

John Rivera from Amaru in Melbourne will represent the Pacific region with his Sinigang dish.

Rivera has since been working with mentor chef Scott Pickett of Estelle, who will provide guidance on how to improve his signature dish leading up to the grand finale in Milan.

“Scott is really pushing me to be 100 percent confident with my dish and we are working together to refine each element,” says Rivera. “He’s carefully guiding me in making the dish a complete reflection of who I am and my style without being authoritative.”

“Watching John’s commitment to this competition, his focus, dedication and refinement of his dish has been an absolute honour,” says Pickett. “Hopefully, together, we can take home the ultimate prize and make Australia proud.”

The global finalists are:

Africa & Middle East                           Vusumuzi Ndlovu (The Saxon Hotel Villas and Spa Johannesburg, South Africa)

BeNeLux                                                Frederic Chastro (Sõma– Antwerp, Belgium)

Canada                                                   Benjamin Mauroy-Langlais (Automne – Montréal)

Central America Caribbean                José Óscar Casimiro Segundo (Ajumú – Guadalajara, Mexico)

China                                                      Chanwai Poon (Aurora at Shanghai Disney Resort – Shanghai)

East Europe                                          Marcin Popielarz (White Rabbit – Gdansk, Poland)

France                                                    Antonio Buono (Mirazur – Menton)

Germany & Austria                              Falko Weiss (à la  Minute – Trier)

Italy                                                         Edoardo Fumagalli (La Locanda del Notaio – Pellio Intelvi, Como)

Japan                                                      Yasuhiro Fujio (La Cime – Osaka, Japan)

Latin America                                       Elizabeth Puquio Landeo (Ambrosía – Santiago, Chile)

Mediterranean Countries                  Constadina Voulgari Kontesopoulou (Pelagos Sea Side – Ierapetra, Greece)

Northeast Asia                                     Zih-Yang Chen (VG The Seafood Bar  – Taipei, Taiwan)

Pacific                                                    John Rivera (Amaru – Armadale, Melbourne)

Russia & CIS                                          Ruslan Evstigneev (Pushkin – Kazan, Russia)

Scandinavia & the Baltics                   Anton Husa (Upper House Dining – Gothenburg, Sweden)

Southeast Asia                                      Jake Kellie (Burnt Ends – Singapore)

Spain & Portugal                                  David Andrés (ABaC – Barcelona, Spain)

Switzerland                                           Dävid Walti (Eisblume – Worb)

UK & Ireland                                         Killian Crowley (Aniar – Galway, Ireland)

United States                                        John Taube (The NoMad Hotel – New York)

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