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S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition now accepting applications from the world's most talented chefs under 30 and reveals the stellar line-up of the regional jury deciding Canada's representation on the world stage

S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition 2024-25 returns for a sixth edition and applications are being accepted from now until June 19

S.Pellegrino is proud to announce applications are now open for the sixth edition of S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition, the global initiative to discover and mentor the most promising and talented young chefs. Three of Canada's most notable chefs – Normand Laprise (Toqué!, Montreal, QC), Jason Bangerter (Langdon Hall, Cambridge, ON) and Nuit Regular (PAI Northern Thai Kitchen, Kiin Chaiyo by PAI, Sukhothai and Selva, Toronto, ON) – have been selected to the Canadian jury.

The Canadian jury panel, comprised of distinguished culinary experts from diverse backgrounds, will play a pivotal role in judging live cooking competitions, where aspiring chefs will showcase their culinary prowess, innovation and creativity. Moreover, following Canada's regional final, one of the chefs from the Canadian jury panel will act as "Mentor Chef" to the regional winner, assisting them in refining their signature dish and offering invaluable guidance as they prepare for the Grand Finale in Milan.

The jury panel for the Regional Finals is composed of:

  1. Normand Laprise - With an illustrious career spanning over three decades, chef Normand Laprise is a culinary icon in Canada. Renowned for his visionary approach to cuisine, chef Laprise is the mastermind behind Montreal's acclaimed restaurant, Toqué!. His dedication to sourcing the finest local ingredients and pushing the boundaries of culinary creativity has earned him widespread acclaim and numerous prestigious awards. Chef Laprise, expressed his excitement about being part of the jury: "It's an honour to be involved in nurturing the next generation of culinary talent. I look forward to witnessing the creativity and skill of young chefs across Canada and helping to guide them on their culinary journey."
  2. Jason Bangerter - As the executive chef of Langdon Hall, a Relais & Châteaux property nestled in the picturesque countryside of Cambridge, Ontario, chef Jason Bangerter has established himself as a leading figure in Canadian gastronomy. With a culinary philosophy deeply rooted in seasonality and sustainability, chef Bangerter's innovative dishes reflect his commitment to showcasing the natural bounty of the region. Chef Bangerter, shared his enthusiasm for the competition: "The S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition provides a platform for emerging chefs to showcase their culinary prowess on a global stage. I am eager to see the innovative dishes and techniques that will be presented by this year's aspiring chefs."
  3. Nuit Regular - Hailing from the vibrant culinary landscape of Toronto, chef Nuit Regular brings a unique perspective to the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition. As the creative force behind PAI Northern Thai Kitchen, Kiin Chaiyo by PAI, Sukhothai, and Selva, chef Regular's expertise in Thai cuisine and her dedication to preserving authentic flavours and techniques have garnered her widespread recognition and accolades. Chef Regular, emphasized the importance of mentorship in the culinary world: "As a chef, it's essential to pay it forward and support the next generation of talent. I am honoured to be part of this esteemed jury and look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with the aspiring chefs."  

"The S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy is a global community that was born to convey S.Pellegrino's commitment to shaping the future of gastronomy by investing in values such as sustainability, responsibility, inclusivity, resilience and beauty, and the Competition is the main access to it," said Stefano Bolognese, Sanpellegrino's International Business Unit Director." The last edition marked a record in participation with over 166 chefs passing the preliminary selections amongst the 15 regions involved. Seeing so many young talents willing to bring their best through hard work and passion, and to see them join our mission makes us proud. This makes us believe even more in this project and we can't wait for the new edition to start."

The S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition 2024-25 will welcome young chefs who wish to challenge themselves and their abilities while gaining global visibility. Young chefs under 30 years of age will have the chance to register at from now until June 19, 2024, by submitting the recipe of a signature dish that communicates their personal vision, unique skills, and creativity. As with previous editions, the first selection phase will be evaluated by ALMA, the International School of Italian Culinary Arts. ALMA will define a shortlist of young chefs who will participate in the Regional Finals that will take place across the globe through the second half of 2024.

Regional winners will compete at the Grand Finale event to win the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Award 2024-25. To win the title, the chefs must impress the global Grand Jury – an esteemed panel of internationally renowned chefs – by demonstrating unrivalled technical abilities as well as true creativity. The winning talent should also display a strong personal belief regarding gastronomy, to convince the Jury of their ability to become a catalyst for positive change. The last edition saw the global title won by young Portuguese chef Nelson Freitas for his dish, with Regional Young Chef Canadian winner Pierre-OIivier Pelletier from Quebec winning the 2022-2023 Canadian title.

Pierre-Olivier Pelletier, a past Regional Finals winner, shared his experience participating in the competition, saying: "Participating in the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition was a transformative experience for me. It was an incredible opportunity to showcase my culinary skills, learn from industry experts, and connect with fellow aspiring chefs from around the world. The competition not only challenged me to push the boundaries of my creativity but also provided me with the mentorship and support I needed to grow as a chef. Winning the Regional Finals was a validation of my hard work and dedication, and it has opened doors to exciting opportunities in the culinary world. I would encourage every young chef with a passion for cooking to seize this opportunity and apply for the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition."

About S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy

Gastronomy has the potential to transform society, shaping a more inclusive, more sustainable future. But doing so requires talent. That's why S.Pellegrino has created S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy, a platform to attract, connect and nurture the next generation of culinary talents. An environment that will empower them through education, mentoring and experience opportunities, as well as through the renowned global competition. The Academy opens its doors to members from over 70 different countries, ensuring that talent is not constrained by geography, ethnicity, or gender. This is a place where passionate young chefs interact with the most influential players in global gastronomy, and where together they cultivate an inspiring culinary community. To discover more please visit: 

About S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna

S.Pellegrino, Acqua Panna and Sanpellegrino Italian Sparkling Drinks are international trademarks of Sanpellegrino S.p.A., which is based in Milan, Italy. Distributed in over 150 countries through branches and distributors on all five continents, these products represent quality, excellence by virtue of their origins and perfectly interpret Italian style worldwide as a synthesis of pleasure, health and well-being. Founded in 1899, Sanpellegrino S.p.A. is the leading company in the beverage sector in Italy with its range of mineral waters, non-alcoholic aperitifs and drinks. Sanpellegrino has always been committed to enhancing this primary good for the planet and works responsibly and passionately to ensure that this resource has a secure future.