Over the years, Lebanon has witnessed different influences and cultures whether the result of war, colonisation or immigration. I think gastronomy today is following brands/ trends and neglecting cultures. To me, fire is the starting point and the main identity of my dish. The flavours of fire, the taste of wood, the erotic scene where fire is in direct contact with ingredients are all essential in my cooking.
Adam's garden reflects a sharp identity with unique and almost forgotten products and ingredients. The flavours bring to mind the Levant region — Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine — while the monochromatic plating adds a dramatic touch to my dish.
Muhammad Afif Adnanta Nasution
Commis Chef, Teatro Gastroteque Bali, Bali,Indonesia
S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility 2019-21 Finalist for Asia
As a chef, I’d like to share four instruments in my food: nature, craft, artisan, cooking. I believe this is the purest way to appreciate the complexity of nature, and this is what motivates me to develop and explore the gastronomy of the world.
With my dish I’d like to represent the togetherness of food, which consists of traditions, techniques, events, memories. Each of my dishes represents a moment in time and illustrates my journey to the present day by respecting and protecting nature.
Nature shapes the ecosystem of farmers, fishermen, cattle breeders and artists, all of whom are intertwined and connected by the culture of food.
Chef de partie, Culinary Institute of Mexico (ICUM), Puebla,Mexico
Acqua Panna Award for Connection in Gastronomy 2019-21 Finalist for Latin America
Mexico’s history is rich in tradition, culture and flavour — we must preserve our roots and share our culture with the world. I’d like to demonstrate how we can merge tradition and modernity by offering a mouthful of our land on the plate.
My dish, therefore, represents a Mexican field, where all the magic begins. It highlights the basic diet of our indigenous people in three parts: the joy of comforting the soul with the harvest, the joy of childhood, and the harvest of the day with the hunt. Mexican soil is represented by mole to celebrate the Aztec blessing of fruit. We made mole to celebrate our food and, above all, the feeding of a people.
Alexandre Alves Pereira
Chef, La Dame de Pic – Le 1920 , Megève,France
S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Award 2019-21 Finalist for North-Western Europe
I like to transform produce that most people wouldn’t consider ‘noble’ into haute cuisine. I wanted to highlight the humble vegetable in my dish — asparagus and ground ivy — by using the ingredients in their entirety. Less noble produce, like sardines and ivy, are utilised in as many ways as possible (oil, jelly, fumet, decor, juice, etc.) to reduce waste and enhance their natural taste.
With my signature dish I want to express my origins: my French heritage is represented by the asparagus, and my Portuguese heritage with the sardines and olive oil. With this dish, I wanted to express my heritage with produce that I love — and prove that we can make amazing dishes with absolutely any produce.
Chef de partie, Chefs Warehouse at Tintswalo Atlantic, Cape Town,South Africa
S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility 2019-21 Finalist for Africa & Middle East
Our own ignorance as a species has caused the destruction of ecosystems that have survived and thrived for thousands of years before humankind. We are in the midst of the sixth major extinction, which we have caused, and are rapidly reaching a point of no return. Unless action is taken to repair this damage, the world — and gastronomy as we know it — will cease to exist. Our oceans are by far the most affected by our pollution, which is what I'd like to replicate in my dish, ""The Ghost Net"".
Since I started working as a professional young chef, I have noticed just how much influence chefs have over the public because the profession is now admired so much. I think it is important to use this influence to convey important messages through our art. ""The Ghost Net"" is the beginning of a new way of cooking for me, one that focuses on pressing world matters. I’d like to highlight modern problems through my form of art, cuisine.
Sous Chef, Cracco, Milan,Italy
S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Award 2019-21 Finalist for Italy & South- Eastern Europe
Great stories often start around the table. Mine started at a family dinner. My dish represents my vision as a chef: an individual whose duty it is to highlight the produce and the know-how of the supplier while transmitting his/her story non-verbally.
I want to express myself by cooking a dish that mixes tradition and evolution. My dish isn’t based on noble products and therefore I'm trying to demonstrate that the knowledge and technical skills of a chef are primordial in making a great dish. I chose to cook the suckling cockerel in different ways, the skin crispy and the leg confit. As a garnish I made a potato cake and, to add a bit of freshness, I use a puntarelle (chicory) salad before finishing the dish with a fermented corn and egg yolk sauce.
Jerome Ianmark Calayag
Chef, Restaurant Portal, Stockholm,Sweden
S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Award 2019-21 Finalist for UK & Northern Europe
Chefs and restaurants can affect this world greatly by ‘going local’ and supporting sustainable initiatives. I want to contribute balance to the world and hope to make a difference by cooking delicious, vegetable-driven food in a sustainable manner.
My dish is a way of showcasing what you can do with humble vegetables and how delicious they can be. It also represents me: who I´ve become as a person and chef, and what I believe in. One part is inspired by the street food I grew up loving in the Philippines — the carrot is grilled just like ihaw-ihaw (grilled skewers) — but the dish is Nordic, with vegetables sourced from a sustainable local farmer. The leak is cooked in the old Nordic way, via an open fire, while the tart filled with röra (a Swedish slaw).
Tor Aik Chua
Sous Chef, Restaurant Zen, Singapore,Singapore
Acqua Panna Award for Connection in Gastronomy 2019-21 Finalist for Asia
I want the world to notice Malaysia's culture and tradition. The dish uses a lot of rare ingredients from Malaysia to create local flavour profile. The concept is inspired by the local dining scene, while the use of foraged ingredients is a mark of respect to the land of Malaysia, and the hard work of farmers and fishermen.
The nose to tail concept, as well as drying up the trimmings to make a tea, demonstrates how we can reduce food waste. The use of native ingredients like kulim nut (wild jungle garlic) and pepper leaves show the world what the rainforest can offer to us, while fermented elements like garum, kosho and kombucha show that ""time"" is also an important element in cooking.
Chef, Hexagon Restaurant, Oakville,Canada
S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Award 2019-21 Finalist for North America
Mole Spiced Muscovy Duck, Preserved Prunes and Winter Roots
The inspiration for my dish emerges from my strong belief that people around the world come together through the sharing of food. The dish is based on the fusion between my Mexican roots and my experience as a newcomer to Canada. As an immigrant, I see how cultures can work together to create food that allows people to find common ground.
Always staying open to new ideas and opportunities, living in Canada has opened my eyes to new cultures, and this dish combines the idea of multiculturalism with my personal story. Mexican, French, Canadian, Chinese techniques and ingredients are some of the highlights.
Óscar Dayas Rodríguez
Chef, MAR Gastrotasca, Gran Canaria,Spain
Acqua Panna Award for Connection in Gastronomy 2019-21 Finalist for Iberian & Mediterranean Countries
I’d like to showcase the unique traditions of each of Spain’s regions so they are not forgotten. On my plate, I pay tribute to transhumance, the traditional way of raising sheep that involves the seasonal movement of livestock. This allows the earth to regenerate, ensuring the grass is in the best condition and, in turn, the animal is also at its best.
By highlighting tradition, I’d also like to respect the produce and raise awareness about the importance of sustainable farming and cooking. In this dish I use 100% of the animal and represent the story of transhumance, from the very first feed at the farm, to the sheep’s journey to a mountain summit to feed on coastal grass.
Sous Chef, So Auckland, Auckland,New Zealand
Fine Dining Lovers Food For Thought Award 2019-21 Finalist for Pacific
Horopito Cures Wild Venison Cooked Over Kanuka Wood, Karamu Berries and Feijoa Cream with Celeriac and Nelson Valley Saffron Reduction
This dish is part of a long-term project known as ‘Food over Conflict’, which represents the hardworking saffron growers in Kashmir, India who are currently struggling due to political conflict.
A very important component of my dish is a locally-sourced saffron reduction from Nelson, which is blended with the saffron from Kashmir. The use of native berries and flowers represents the sustainable plant cultures that grow organically across New Zealand… this is also emblematic of my childhood as I grew up next to the Sundarbans, a sprawling mangrove forest. The Sundarbans is on the verge of disaster and must be cared for in order to conserve its precious bio-diversity.
Nicolas Fagundes Galindo
Chef de Partie, Chapter One, Dublin,Ireland
Fine Dining Lovers Food For Thought Award 2019-21 Finalist for UK & Northern Europe
In my career as chef I would like to see the creation of a sustainable and equal environment where, regardless of sex, race or creed, you are afforded equal treatment and opportunities.
My dish represents this beliefs by bringing together two main ingredients from different cultures — both of equal importance for the balance, flavour and texture of the end result.
This dish signifies that, with the right intention to create a more dynamic and sustainable environment, we can understand and appreciate how other cultures work. I want to bring multiple cultures together on a single plate while expressing my roots and the knowledge and technique I’ve acquired during my career abroad. Through my dish I hope to express diversity and connection.
Chef de Partie, Stofa Restaurant, Ottawa,Canada
S.Pellegrino for Social Responsibility Award 2019-21 Finalist for North America
Reducing food waste is crucial to combating climate change, and we must fix our food system from the ground up.
My dish encapsulates my beliefs regarding whole animal butchery, fermenting and preserving ingredients to capture them at their peak while respecting natural flavours, sourcing local ingredients, and minimising waste.
I created a dish that reflects me, as well as the ingredients that thrive in Canada. I incorporate techniques of the past to create dishes that evoke nostalgia and respect for the effort put into the meal. This representation of Canada also incorporates my heritage and childhood memories of family preserves, updated with the knowledge I now have as a professional chef.
Sous Chef, Le Coin Français, Johannesburg,South Africa
Fine Dining Lovers Food For Thought Award 2019-21 Finalist for Africa & Middle East
From a very young age, I was taught to embrace different cultures and the native ingredients of my homeland South Africa. My dish is a representation of the countless hours spent with my father, a chef, who taught me how to respect ingredients, the land and, most of all, the people around me. This dish is not only a way of remembering him, but continuing our dream for this beautiful Rainbow Nation.
While growing up my father and I took up a lot of hobbies together, gardening being one of them, so this dish represents some of the many ingredients that grew in our garden. This dish always brings a smile to my face, as it reminds me of the valuable lessons he taught me. It reminds me to be proud of my heritage and to never forget where I come from.
Chef de Partie, Mono, Hong Kong,China
Fine Dining Lovers Food For Thought Award 2019-21 Finalist for Greater China
Since arriving in Asia, I changed my mind about gastronomy. The treatment of fresh food in Asia is inspiring. My dish was conceived in the micro business organic production of the simple family. My contribution would be totally in show the beautiful work of these people in conjunction with my ideas about gastronomy.
My dish, and style of cuisine, represents the multicultural gastronomy that exists in Asia. It also represents the union of my land with the culture of Asia. My dish expresses different cultures and what can be created using fresh, colourful and organic ingredients. The smoke and charcoal represent the evolution of humanity, from the earliest times these ingredients were used to enhance flavour and represent the evolution of the creativity. This dish was created with the intention to represent the ancient history of Hong Kong gastronomy, its nature and ancestors.
Head Chef, Muse Kitchen, Lorn,Australia
Acqua Panna Award for Connection in Gastronomy 2019-21 Finalist for Pacific
My dish is based around some incredible ducks from Burrawong Gaian in Australia’s Central Coast. When creating dishes, I always try to attach them to a memory and use simplicity and technique to tell a story. In this case, the dish is inspired by some hungry ducks who, during my early years as a chef, hopped over the garden fence and helped themselves to our new rhubarb.
Chef, Restaurant OLO, Helsinki,Finland
Acqua Panna Award for Connection in Gastronomy 2019-21 Finalist for Euro Asia
Different Parts Of Cod, Grilled Butter, Jellied Oyster, Crispy "Muesli" Made Of Grains And Cod Skin And Creamy Fish Sauce
I would like to see culinary culture rising in Finland. My dream is open a restaurant and, while I don’t yet know whether it will be fine dining or casual, one thing is for sure: it will showcase Nordic cuisine.
I like to use all elements of the main ingredient. So, in this dish I used cod loin, belly, skin and bones. And each part works together to complete the dish with different textures. The loin is seasoned with grilled butter, and I add some delicious, juicy oysters to make the flavour profile more powerful. Smooth cauliflower is a friend of all the seafood, while the smoked cod belly is paired with the world’s best potatoes which come from Lapland.
Sous Chef, Richter, Moscow,Russian Federation
S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility 2019-21 Finalist for Euro Asia
I would like to raise awareness of the principals of low waste, and the need to care for our planet.
In my dish, I’ve used unfamiliar ingredients to show how we can diversify our diet and expand our palate. In the past, these ingredients were popular because of their high nutritional value, but today, sadly, they are rarely used. Nevertheless, I found them in the gardens of nearby farmers. This produce is rich in vitamins, microelements and antioxidants — a gift from nature.
All the techniques used to create this dish serve to illustrate the potential of each ingredient, while maintaining the natural, nutritional value.