MILAN, Oct. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, San Francisco-based chef Mitch Lienhard of Manresa restaurant has been crowned the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016. With his winning signature dish, "roasted duck with spiced orange and yam", and guidance from Mentor Chef Dominique Crenn, Lienhard emerged among the competing 20 finalists from across the globe as the best Young Chef in the world.
"It's really exciting," Lienhard said, commenting on his big win. "I feel like I've prepared for this moment, but I don't feel like I've prepared for this moment. I'm ecstatic." In his presentation to the Grand Jury, he explained his winning dish was a reminder of his home state of Michigan, with aromas of burning leaves and maple.
Mitch Lienhard was elected by a distinguished jury of seven internationally-acclaimed chefs, known as the "Seven Sages", including David Higgs, Carlo Cracco, Gaggan Anand, Elena Arzak, Mauro Colagreco, Wylie Dufresne and Roberta Sudbrack. The extensive evaluation process was based on the criteria of the five "Golden Rules" of ingredients, skills, genius, beauty and message. The Young Chef 2016 award ceremony was followed by a gala dinner prepared by the one-and-only Massimo Bottura, whose Osteria Francescana of Modena, Italy, is ranked n°1 on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list 2016.
Being crowned S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 will offer Mitch Lienhard the extraordinary opportunity to gain worldwide visibility and a significant professional boost, as well as the chance to take part in several of the brand's events around the world, including but not limited to those related to the Young Chef competition.
Commenting on his experience following his big win last year, S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015, Mark Moriarty said, "The 2015 edition of S.Pellegrino Young Chef provided me with an invaluable experience, both professionally and personally. I look forward to the next stage of my young career and wish this year's recipient of the award the very best in the future."
This year's Grand Finale ceremony also included the awarding of two additional prizes. To celebrate the dish that best presents traditional elements in a contemporary way, the "Acqua Panna Contemporary Tradition Award" was given to Italian chef Alessandro Salvatore Raspisarda. Additionally, for the first time ever, FineDiningLovers.com hosted a public voting forum to determine the most inspiring dish concept. The "Inspiring Message Award by S.Pellegrino", was presented to winner Daniel Nates from Mexico, representing Latin America.
Nearly ten months since the launch of the international competition's second edition in January 2016, which has seen participation from more than 3,000 talented Young Chefs from twenty different geographic regions worldwide, S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 has come to a close. In order to compete in this extraordinary global event, the Young Chefs and their signature dishes had to pass several highly-selective preliminary rounds, starting with an initial screening by ALMA – the world's leading international educational and training centre for Italian Cuisine (www.alma.scuolacucina.it) – and followed by the regional finals, during which the chefs finished first among nine other talented local contenders. Applicants had initially submitted their applications, together with their signature dishes, on www.finedininglovers.com.
Finedininglovers.com, the online magazine for food enthusiasts proudly endorsed by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, will provide followers and food-enthusiasts around the world continuous exclusive content on the competition, including interviews, information on the Young Chefs' signature dishes and other details on the finalists and the Grand Finale in Milan.
The names of all winners at S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 are as follows:
- S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016: Mitch Lienhard from the United States
- Acqua Panna Contemporary Tradition Award: Alessandro Salvatore Raspisarda from Italy
- Inspiring Message Award by S.Pellegrino: Daniel Nates from Mexico
S.Pellegrino recognizes support from key partners and sponsors including: ALMA, Nespresso, Electrolux, Cantine Ferrari, Giblor's, Mauviel 1830, Poltrona Frau.
The complete press kit with bios of the Young Chefs, mentors, jury and all the pictures taken during the Grand Finale event are available in the Media Room http://mediaspyc2016.ruds.info/, Password: SPYC2016 (all capital letters).
Join the conversation online using #SPYoungChef.
About S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water
The signature taste of S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water is created during a 30-year journey through the Italian Alps, where the water is naturally filtered. S.Pellegrino cleanses the palate and amplifies subtle flavors, making it the perfect complement to fine food and wines. This clean, refreshing taste helped S.Pellegrino become a preferred sparkling water in fine-dining restaurants in the USA, and pairs well with any occasion.
S.Pellegrino is proud to support a number of top culinary events, such as The James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef of the Year Award, S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition, The World's 50 Best Restaurants list, Aspen Food and Wine Classic, Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation, and Identità Golose.
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