On June 14th, ten emerging chefs from all over the world met for the 14th edition of the S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup. The one-of-a-kind regatta features two competitions in one: as sailors and skippers race for the fastest time, chef competitors cook below deck to create a unique dish to impress a panel of judges to win the Acqua Panna & S.Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year 2014 Award. This spectacular event, organized according to tradition in collaboration with the historic Venetian yacht club Compagnia della Vela, saw 41 boats competing from the Lido of Venice to the Island of San Giorgio, striving to be the first on the finish line and the best in the galley. Starting off early in the morning at the Rialto outdoor market the chefs met to handpick the ingredients chosen for the recipes. At sunset, after a thrilling day, with the astonishing backdrop of the Venetian Lagoon, the winners were proclaimed.
The Russian chef Sergey Berezutskiy is the 2014 Acqua Panna & S.Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year Award. He captured the attention of the Jury during two key moments: with his signature dish Mackerel with watermelon, crispy beetroot "risotto" and the chechil cheese; and during the regatta, when he brought aboard the Timoteo the "Two ways", the langoustines with artichokes smoked in birch bark with zucchini and tomatoes.
Each chef's dish has been evaluated according to four criteria: presentation, difficulty of execution, taste and proper pairing with wine and water. "I still do not believe that I have received this award – commented Sergey Berezutskiy - It is like a dream coming true. It is a real honor and I hope that this will help to create interest in my cuisine. The experience on the boat was really challenging, but at the same time it was the most exciting moment. I am glad that my efforts have been appreciated by the jury."
Second place in the Acqua Panna & S.Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year 2014 Award went to the Belgian chef Thomas Troupin, while The German chef Kirill Kinfelt achieved the third place. The boat "MisterX 3", with the chef Karen Boscolo Meneguolo of the restaurant El Gato di Chioggia on board, won the S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup trophy.
Russian chef Sergey Berezutskiy was also awarded the Inside the Cooking award. A real race within the race, this unique award is assigned based on a ranking taking into consideration the boat's performance and the chef's work at the same time. This year ten boats from S.Pellegrino international markets, each with a young chef onboard representing Australia, Korea, Belgium, Germany, Israel, Italy, Canada, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and the USA were in the running.
The coveted People's Choice Award, assigned by the guests of the inaugural dinner, voting along with renowned gourmet experts, has been assigned to Thomas Troupin and his Egg 63°C, creamy brown butter emulsion, sherry & porcini mushrooms cream, lardo di colonnata. "I was not expecting to receive such award – he commented – and I am very proud because I am working really hard to promote Belgian cuisine and its local products around the world, for example with the project Generation W. For sure this recognition will give a contribution to elevate the awareness of our cuisine".
Last but not least, the brand new Critics' Choice Award, assigned by a Jury of journalists and a S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup 2014 novelty, went to the Israeli chef Ahmad Salameh, who presented his Black garlic cannelloni filled with duck. He commented "I am so glad for this award. I lived an incredible experience here and for sure this will help me to go a step forward towards my dream of opening a fine dining restaurant".
With the success of this 14th edition of the Cooking Cup, S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, synonymous with the gourmet food and wine culture across the globe, proved once more their commitment to scouting and promoting emerging talents and reaffirmed their role of true ambassadors of the Italian style and art of living all over the world.
Visit the S. Pellegrino Facebook page for photos from the event.
See a video of Chef Tim Maslow of Boston, Massachusetts as he represents Team USA.