STAMFORD, Conn., Nov. 6, 2019 /CNW/ -- S.Pellegrino® announced today that Chef Rafael Covarrubias, 25, of Hexagon Restaurant in Oakville, Ontario has been crowned the winner of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Competition North American Regional Semifinal. Chef Covarrubias will continue on to compete in the Grand Finale in May 2020 in Milan, Italy.
Chef Covarrubias won over the panel of esteemed culinary judges with his signature dish, Mole Negro Spiced Muscovy Duck, Preserved Prune, and Winter Roots. The panel of judges—including Ashley Christensen of Poole's Diner, Connie DeSousa and John Jackson of CHARCUT Roast House, Rob Gentile of Buca Restaurants, food writer and author Jordana Rothman, and Michael Solomonov of Zahav—awarded Chef Covarrubias top marks for his technical skills, genuine creativity and an exceptional personal belief about gastronomy.
"I came to Canada from Mexico for the pure love of cooking, and I'm so honored to represent North America on a global culinary stage in Milan," said Chef Covarrubias. "I've met so many hardworking, talented chefs on this journey and I hope to inspire others to push themselves past their comfort zones to achieve their goals."
At the Grand Finale in Milan next May, Chef Covarrubias will represent North America and compete against 11 other regions from across the globe for the overall title of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2020. Each young chef will present his or her dish to a jury of seven distinguished international chefs, also known as the "Seven Sages." To support Chef Covarrubias on his journey to the Grand Finale in Milan, he will be mentored by Connie DeSousa of CHARCUT Roast House in Calgary, Alberta.
In addition to the regional winner, three new awards were introduced this year at the competition, reflecting S.Pellegrino's belief in the transformative power of gastronomy and its impact beyond the kitchen:
- Acqua Panna Award for Connection in Gastronomy – Chef Jeremy Stephens of New Orleans, Louisiana with his signature dish, Crawfish Boil. Voted for by the Regional Mentors, Chef Stephens was selected for his dish that represents the beauty of different cultures coming together to create something fresh and exciting.
- Fine Dining Lovers Food for Thought Award – Chef Marvin Palomo of Oakville, Ontario with his signature dish, Dungenese Crab Chowanmushi. Voted for by the Fine Dining Lovers community, this award goes to Chef Palomo for best representing his personal beliefs within his signature dish.
- S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility – Chef Kathryn Ferries of Ottawa, Ontario with her signature dish, Forest Honey Glazed Rabbit Ballotine with Fennel Chanterelles and Mustard Greens. Voted for by Food Made Good, the internationally recognized voice on sustainability in food, Chef Ferries' dish best represents the principle that food is best when it is the result of sustainable practices.
Winners of the three awards will also be invited to attend the Grand Finale alongside some of the biggest names in gastronomy from around the globe.
S.Pellegrino Young Chef supports the future of gastronomy by nurturing, discovering and promoting the next generation of chef talent. The competition enables young talent from around the globe to have access to a global culinary community, and encourages them to demonstrate their personal beliefs in the transformative power of food through their technical skills and creativity.
To see the complete list of global semifinalists or for more information on the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Competition visit: http://www.sanpellegrinoyoungchef.com/en
Be sure to follow #SPYoungChef online for news and announcements ahead of the grand finale.
About S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water
S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water is a premium sparkling mineral water that flows naturally from a thermal spring in San Pellegrino Terme, near Bergamo (Lombard). S.Pellegrino has unique balance of effervescence and rich minerality which cleanse the palate and amplify subtle flavors, making it the perfect complement to fine food and wines. Its clean, refreshing taste has distinguished S.Pellegrino as a preferred sparkling water by leaders of the global culinary community.
S.Pellegrino is a proud supporter of premier culinary events, such as World's 50 Best Restaurants, Aspen Food and Wine Classic, Bocuse d'Or, and The James Beard Foundation Awards. For more information, visit www.sanpellegrino.com or www.finedininglovers.com.