S.Pellegrino 2011 Almost Famous Chef Competition Winners

From left to right: Elizabeth Freer, Emma Louth, Jean-Francois Daigle, Sophie Gayot, Marco BahenaFrom left to right: Elizabeth Freer, Emma Louth, Jean-Francois Daigle, Sophie Gayot, Marco Bahena
From left to right: Elizabeth Freer, Emma Louth, Jean-Francois Daigle, Sophie Gayot, Marco Bahena

by Sophie Gayot


Nine young American student chefs and one Canadian squared off this weekend at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, Calif., during the 9th edition of the S. Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition.


As I was judging the two challenges, along with twelve other judges, I am happy to announce the five winners, presented by Gail Simmons and Ralph Pagano:
The Overall Winner
Marco Bahena of Kendall College, in Chicago, received a prize of $10,000 and a paid apprenticeship with one of the participating chef judge’s restaurant of his choice;

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S.Pellegrino 2011 Almost Famous Chef Competition Launch Party

From left to right: Jean Joho, Brooke McDougall, Sophie Gayot, Michel Richard, Fabio Viviani, Dana Cowin, Bonnie Ster, Ralph Pagano
From left to right: Jean Joho, Brooke McDougall, Sophie Gayot, Michel Richard, Fabio Viviani, Dana Cowin, Bonnie Ster, Ralph Pagano

by Sophie Gayot


This is the third year that I have had the honor and pleasure of being asked to be one of the judges at the S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition. Held at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, Calif., the 9th edition of the young chef competition will start tomorrow. Incredibly, three of the other judges are chefs whose restaurants we named among our 2011 Top 40 Restaurants in the US: Gary Danko, Michel Richard, and Jean Joho of Everest. The other judges include chefs Tony Mantuano of Spaggia in Chicago, Brooke McDougall of Bymark in Toronto, and Rick Moonen of RM Seafood in Las Vegas.

 

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World’s Best Restaurants

The S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants
The S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants

By Jeff Hoyt

We’re a big fan of S. Pellegrino, both their water and their awards. For the last few years, we’ve helped judge their cooking competition for young chefs. Last year, GAYOT.com was even able to attend the gala night they announced the world’s 50 best restaurants.

We’re glad to note that many of the American selections earning a World’s 50 Best Restaurants Award already graced our choices of top 40 restaurants in the USA, including Daniel, Per Se, The French Laundry, and Alinea. (For more on Alinea, The Aqua Panna Best Restaurant in North America, read André Gayot’s description of his recent meal there.) Around the world, we’ve written extensively on the soon-to-shutter El Bulli in Spain, and reviewed many of the honored restaurants, from The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais in South Africa to Quay in Australia to Iggy’s in Singapore to Biko in Mexico. We have nearly 500 restaurant reviews each in London and Paris, including The Fat Duck, which S. Pellegrino ranked #3 in the world, and Le Chateaubriand, ranked #11. You can view the rest of the winners at: theworlds50best.com.

So keep coming back to GAYOT.com for the latest in restaurant reviews and news worldwide.

S.Pellegrino 2010 Almost Famous Chef Competition Winners

The winners of the 2010 Almost Famous Chef Competition
The winners of the 2010 Almost Famous Chef Competition

by Sophie Gayot

 

After four hours of tasting yesterday for The Mystery Basket, two hours today for The Signature Dish, and one hour of voting and deliberation, the results are in for the 2010 S.Pellegrino® Almost Famous Chef® Competition.

 

Many of S.Pellegrino’s representatives, including President & CEO Stefano Agostini, made the trip to Napa Valley for the finals, not only to congratulate the winners but also to see how to extend to competition worldwide.

 

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S.Pellegrino 2010 Almost Famous Chef Competition Mystery Basket

hatsup
The first part of the competition is over; hats up!

By Sophie Gayot

 

 

Part one of the S.Pellegrino® Almost Famous Chef® Competition, held for the eighth time this year, is The Mystery Basket competition. The rules are very strict (there is a full page of them), but the basics are that the eleven contestants have 2 hours to create a dish with the featured ingredients and prepare 10 identical plates to be served to the judges. This year’s mystery ingredients were organic chicken, mushrooms and eggs. The contestants—all chefs in training— had a long list of other produce they were allowed to use, including flavors from the “Asian pantry,” the “Mediterranean pantry” and the “Latin pantry.”

 

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