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)