Competition 2024-25 FAQs

SPYCA 2024-25 COMPETITION – FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

1. Is payment required to enter the Competition?

No kind of payment is needed for the Competition. The S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition is free to enter. 

 

2. If I'm from one country, but currently living and working in another, for which country will I participate? 

You will participate on behalf of the restaurant and Region in which you're currently living and working. The Area each candidate belong to will stay the same for the whole duration of the venture, even if a Young Chef moves to a different area after the application process or during the Competition. Please read the Regulations annex to know to which Region the country belongs. 

 

3. Is the Competition also available for chefs in the pastry sector? 

Yes, they are allowed to participate but they must be aware that the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition does not allow pastry or dessert as a Signature Dish, just first or main courses. The Signature Dish must be a main course: the most important part of the menu offer. Desserts and appetizers/entrees are not allowed. 

 

4. I have no experience as a professional chef but I love cooking and learning new things. Is that a problem if I want to apply for the Competition? 

The Competition is aimed at professionals, with at least one year of experience (also in restaurants or catering companies. You must have worked full-time for at least 1 year in one or more Restaurants /Catering companies as “commis” or “chef de cuisine” or “chef de partie” or “sous chef” (they do not need to have worked for 1 year in the same restaurant). Therefore, we are sorry, but we cannot accept your application. 

  

5. I would like to participate in the Competition but I am not currently working in a restaurant even though I have had many years of experience as a commis. Can I apply or must I be currently employed in a restaurant? 

No, we only accept candidates who are currently working.  

  

6. Do I have to work in a restaurant to apply or are you accepting private chefs? 

According to the Regulations, applicants must have worked full-time for at least one year in one or more restaurants/catering companies as a ‘commis’, ‘chef de cuisine’, ‘chef de partie’ or ‘sous chef (they do not need to have worked for one year in the same restaurant/catering company). If you have this experience and can provide references, your application will be accepted. 

  

7. I am a student from a culinary school who is interested in participating in this challenge. Is it allowed? 

Unfortunately, according to the rules we cannot accept your application as a student. 

  

8. I'm a food blogger. Am I eligible to apply for this opportunity? 

According to the rules we cannot accept your application as a food blogger. 

  

9. English is not my mother tongue; can I apply in a different language? 

The official language of the Competition is English, so candidates must be able to express themselves in spoken and written English. However, in order to facilitate and speed up the registration process, candidates may apply in any of the following languages: English, Chinese Mandarin, Spanish, French, Italian or German. Applications in languages other than those listed above will not be considered. 

  

10. I registered for the Competition, and I find it strange that you ask for so many personal details. Why do you need all this information? 

As per the rules, we must check and verify the documents of the participants to confirm their identity, age and professional role. 

  

11. Is there a specific time frame to prepare and cook the Signature Dish? 

Yes, there is. The overall cooking time allowed in Regional Finals/the Grand Finale is five hours. 

 

12. Which ingredients are not allowed? 

Ingredients such as endangered animals, animal blood and edible gold are not allowed. Competitors will be required to choose the ingredients for their Signature Dish in compliance with Italian, EU and international regulations relating to: 

  1. The protection of particular species of flora and fauna (reference
  2. Hygiene and food safety aspects (reference

  

13. Will we be allowed to bring prepared items to the Competition? 

In accordance with the Regulations, the necessary preparations for the recipes must be produced during the permitted competition time, but candidates shall be allowed to bring preserves, fermentations, powders, and dehydrated products that are ready for use. Marinades and stocks must be prepared in situ. 

For the Regional Final and the Grand Finale, ready-to-use preserves, fermentations, must be accompanied by microbiological analyses, to ascertain the actual health and organoleptic quality of the preparations. Such analyses shall be the responsibility of the Young Chefs and must be carried out by an accredited laboratory   

 

14. Will I be judged on the seasonality of my Signature Dish? 

Young Chefs will not be judged on seasonality because the Signature Dishes they choose to cook cannot be changed. If you are selected for a Regional Final, you will have to present the same Signature Dish to the Jury because the same dish will be judged both at the local event and at the Grand Finale. 

  

15. Does the organiser buy the ingredients for the challenge? 

Young Chefs selected for the Regional Finals should provide the Organiser with a list of ingredients necessary to cook 10 portions of each Signature Dish, and the Organiser will source them. As an exception, upon evaluation and approval by the Organiser, Young Chefs may source the ingredients themselves. In either case, the maximum permitted expenses for each Young Chef will be 250 euros; whereas if the Young Chef sources some of the ingredients, he/she will be reimbursed by the Organiser upon presentation of the receipts. 

  

The Young Chef who wins the Regional Final will qualify for the Grand Finale as champion of his/her Region. He/she shall provide the Organiser with a list of ingredients necessary to cook 10 portions of each Signature Dish, and the Organiser will source them locally in Italy. As an exception, upon evaluation and approval by the Organiser, Young Chefs may source the ingredients themselves. In either case, the maximum permitted expenditure for each Young Chef shall be 500 euros, whereas if the Young Chef sources some of the ingredients, he/she will be reimbursed by the Organiser upon presentation of the receipts. 

  

16. If I'm selected for a Regional Final and then for the Grand Finale, are travel and accommodation costs covered? 

S.Pellegrino, as Organiser of the Competition, will cover travel and accommodation costs to and from the Regional Finals and the Grand Finale, for participating candidates. 

  

17. In the Regional Finals, how many people will the selected Young Chefs have to cook for? 

Young Chefs selected for the Regional Finals will have to cook 10 portions of their Signature Dish (independently from the number of jurors). 

  

18. Is it possible to find out when the Regional Finals will be held? I need to organise my work and myself. 

Regional Final dates will depend on each Region. All Young Chefs selected for Regional Finals will be contacted by phone in advance to discuss participation details. 

  

19. I am trying to submit my application for the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition but every time I click save and continue, it tells me that my birthdate is invalid. What is the correct way to enter my birthdate? 

Dates of birth must be entered in the English format, day-month-year (dd/mm/yyyy). Please, try to log in and save again then let us know if you are still having problems, contacting us at: competition@spyoungchefacademy.com. 

  

20. I'm not able to upload my photos and documents to the application form. How do I upload them correctly? 

To upload photos and documents on the registration page for S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition, please follow these steps: 

  • To upload photos (profile picture, Signature Dish photos): under "Upload your picture" there is a box labelled "upload". Click to open the upload window of your computer from which you can select the item to upload. It's very important that the file type is jpg format and is 1-5mb in size. 
  • To upload files (CV, Recipe, ID document): to add your files, you must click on the box "Upload" and follow the same instructions as for the photo upload. The file type must be pdf or jpg format for the ID document; and doc, docx or pdf and a maximum of 5mb for the CV and recipe. For the registration to be successful, all files must be uploaded correctly. 

If you are still having problems, try to upload another photo, re-scan the document or change the file type. 

  

21. I'm not able to upload my CV because I'm applying from my tablet. What can I do? 

Unfortunately, you have to connect to a computer to upload files because, as per the rules, the accepted formats can only be doc, docx or pdf. 

  

22. I have already sent my application but I would like to change one of the photos that I have uploaded. Is that a problem? 

The application can be completed within roughly a four-month period: the system allows you to save applications and rework them as many times as necessary before submission by the required deadline. Once you have completed the full registration and submitted it, you can't go back to change the data you have already sent. The order of submission of applications does not have any influence on their acceptance and does not represent any priority. 

  

23. When and how will the Regional Mentors be nominated? 

Regional Mentors will be nominated once the Regional shortlists are published. 

Preferably, Regional Mentors are the chefs of the restaurants where the candidates are working (however, their names will need to be submitted for approval to the Organiser). 

If requested, the Organiser will assign a Regional Mentor to the candidate.  

Young Chefs will not be able to take part in the Regional Finals if they are not supported by a Mentor, and the same Mentor cannot be chosen by two or more Young Chefs.  

 

If you don't find the answer you are looking for, please contact us at: competition@spyoungchefacademy.com