MILAN —The Seven Sages, the jurors who will be judging the Grand Finale of the S. Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition 2022-23, have been announced. The competition will take place in Milan by September 2023.
The international jury is composed by Eneko Atxa, who owns five Michelin stars for his restaurants Azurmendi and ENEKO; Riccardo Camanini, owner of Lido 84 in Gardone Riviera; Hélène Darroze, helming a three Michelin-starred restaurant at The Connaught hotel in London, a two Michelin-starred for Marsan in Paris and one Michelin-starred in Provence for Hélène Darroze à Villa La Coste in France; Vicky Lau, owner of TATE Dining Room and the first female chef in Asia to be awarded two Michelin stars for her Hong Kong restaurant; Pia León, co-owner of Central and owner of Kjolle; Julien Royer, chef-owner of Odette, a three Michelin-starred modern French restaurant; and Nancy Silverton, co-owner of the Michelin-starred Osteria Mozza, as well as Pizzeria Mozza, Mozza2Go, chi SPACCA, Pizzette and The Barish in Los Angeles.
“Our junior chefs start very young with us and learn with us, so educating them on old Basque recipes and traditions is crucial, as well as showing them how to use new tools that allow us to work better,” says Atxa. “My advice to young talents is to work hard, with a lot of enthusiasm, perseverance, love the territory and to understand that the food will speak about the chef, about who is, about his territory and culture.”
“Creativity is nothing more than the sum of many pieces of information that we have received over a lifetime and that we have been able to interpret,” says Camanini. “Pirandello once said that creativity is like a slice of bread: a solid food on which you can spread jam. So, let’s remember that creativity and certain results are the outcome of a long journey of a craftsman, based on time, consistency and perseverance.”
“As a chef, it’s important to prepare beautiful and delicious food, but we are also looking for more meaning in life,” says Lau. “Success is not just about you, but also about how much you can positively impact society. That’s what we should all aspire to.”