Asia-Pacific’s best and brightest young chefs will come together next Monday to find out who will represent the region at the 2023 global final in Milan, Italy.

10 chefs will present their final dishes to judges Josh Niland, Peter Gilmore and Jacqui Challinor next week with the hopes of being named Young Chef in addition to securing three other awards (Food for Thought, Social Responsibility and Connection in Gastronomy).

The finalists and their dishes include:

  1. Abhishek Thorat – Flavours of Kashmir
  2. Tatsuta Fujii – Dry Aged Yakitori Duck
  3. Alexis Belmas – Western Breeze over Oz
  4. Diego Huerta – Marbled Turbot, Potato & Seaweed
  5. Robin Wagner – Smoked Celeriac/Granny Smith Apple/Crispy Taro
  6. Simon Ming – The element of HEAT
  7. Jackson Mehlhopt – The Southern Kiwi Dear and its surroundings
  8. Srishti Godbole – Farmer’s table
  9. Leidy Carolina Maldonado Ramirez – Ensalda de payaso “Clown Salad” 2
  10. Jose Lorenzo Morales (S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2019, Pacific regional winner) – Analogy from the river

Wagner, who is working at Penfolds Magill Estate Restaurant, has created a vegan dish with the intention of changing the way people view veg-centric cuisine.

“What I love about creating a vegan dish is the challenge [of creating] a dish that is on the same level,” says the chef. “A vegan dish, served at the right time throughout a degustation menu, has the potential of being the most memorable dish of the entire menu.”

Morales returns to the competition after he was named the 2019 Pacific winner and has since been working as a demi chef at Dan Hunter’s Brae.

All finalists will spend the day at the Sydney Fish Markets preparing their dishes for Challinor, Niland and Gilmore, who will judge each plate according to strict criteria including skill, flavour and execution.

The winning chef will progress to the grand final which will be held in Milan next year, where they will compete against their global peers.

The ultimate winner will be named 2023 Young Chef, with a yet-to-be-confirmed international judging panel selecting the top dish according to technical skill, creativity, personal belief and potential to create positive change in society through food.