Meet the Grand Jury for S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition 2022-23
Discover the world-renowned chefs of the next Competition Grand Jury.
Known as the Seven Sages, the Grand Jury for the Grand Finale of S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition 2022-23 will have the task of judging the signature dishes of the young chef finalists in Milan in October 2023. Ultimately, they will decide who will be crowned as the best young chef in the world.
So, who is the Grand Jury for this edition of S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition? Let’s find out.
Named The World's Best Female Chef 2021, Pía León helmed the kitchen at the acclaimed Central restaurant in Lima with her husband Virgilio Martínez for a decade before she decided to branch out on her own with Kjolle (pronounced Koy-ay). The restaurant takes its name from an indigenous, flowering tree that grows at extreme altitudes and burst onto the Latin America’s 50 Best restaurants list at No.21 in 2019 as the Highest New Entry. It currently sits eighth. The menu explores all corners of Peru, from the ocean to the rainforest, to the high Andes.
Basque chef Eneko Atxa holds a total of five Michelin stars at his restaurants, including Azurmendi and Eneko on the edges of Bilbao. Committed to sustainable practices in and outside the kitchen, it’s at three-star Azurmendi that Atxa’s culinary style, rooted in Basque tradition, is fully expressed alongside impeccable service, in a dining room flooded with natural light. Atxa also has additional restaurants across Europe and in Japan. Today the Atxa galaxy includes: Eneko in Larrabetzu, Tokyo and Lisbon; Basque in Seville and Madrid; and Nko in Bilbao.
With acclaimed restaurants in France and a flagship three-star restaurant in London, Hélène Darroze is a chef at the top of her game. A fourth-generation chef, her professional career started in the kitchens of Alain Ducasse’s Le Louis XV in Monaco. In 2008 she took over the restaurant at the historic Connaught hotel in London, winning a third Michelin star there in 2021. She also holds three stars across her restaurants in Paris and Provence.
Having swapped a career in graphic design for the kitchen, chef Vicky Lau has become one of Asia’s leading chefs, winning two Michelin stars at Tate Dining Room in her native Hong Kong. There she has been lauded for her elegant approach to French and Chinese cuisine, utilising her razor-sharp design aesthetic to create plates that are not only delicious but works of art.
Nancy Silverton is the head of the Mozza group of restaurants in Los Angeles, Los Cabos (Mexico), London and Singapore. Having fallen in love with Italian food on a trip to Europe, she set about revolutionising the food scene in Southern California, a story told in an episode of Netflix’s Chef’s Table. Named ‘Outstanding Chef’ by the James Beard Foundation in 2014, she is also the author of 10 cookbooks: Desserts (1986), Breads from the La Brea Bakery (1996), Pastries from the La Brea Bakery (2000), Nancy Silverton's Sandwich Book (2005), Twist of the Wrist (2007), The Mozza Cookbook (2011), Mozza at Home (2016), Chi Spacca (2020) and The Cookie that Changed My Life... (2023).
Julien Royer is the co-owner/chef of Odette, a modern French restaurant with three Michelin stars in Singapore as well as the more casual Claudine, and Louise in Hong Kong. Hailing from a farming family in Cantal, France, he has worked all over the world, including with the likes of Michel Bras, and has been previously involved with the competition as a mentor. In 2019, Odette was named Best Restaurant in Asia by Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.
The Camanini brothers have taken the Italian food scene by storm at Michelin-starred Lido 84 on the shores of Lake Garda. There chef Camanini has crafted a contemporary cuisine with traditional roots that has thrilled the world of gastronomy, informed by his work with greats such as Gualtiero Marchesi and Jean-Louis Nomicos, and the abundant larder of this part of Northern Italy. Lido 84 currently sits at #7 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
The Academy would like to thank all the chefs of the Grand Jury, who share the Academy's mission and vision for the next generation of young chefs, for agreeing to take part. The task of choosing the next S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Award winner is a hugely difficult one, but with their wealth of knowledge and experience, the Seven Sages are perfectly placed to help find the best young chef in the world.
This article was updated on 2/10/2023.