Entries for the 4th S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition will be opening soon, and Chef Vusumuzi Ndlovu, who represented Africa and the Middle East in last year’s competition, is encouraging young chefs to enter.

“S.Pellegrino has created an amazing platform for young chefs with the S.Pellegrino Young Chef awards competition,” says Chef Vusumuzi, Head Chef of the Marabi Club. “It’ll really drive you to levels you couldn’t imagine you could reach in terms of creativity. The learning experience is also something important – you look at food in a different light. Not just that, you also make friends along the way – friends for life.”

“The S.Pellegrino Young Chef award has created a lot of opportunities that I didn’t think were possible,” says the chef on how representing Africa and the Middle East in the global challenge has been beneficial to his career. “It gave me the confidence to start expanding my horizons. I’m feeling good in my heart, knowing I’m making the best of every moment, or at least trying!”

Chef Vusumuzi’s signature dish, Isicupho

Applications for this edition of S.Pellegrino Young Chef will open from February, and this year there will be three additional awards as well as the award for S. Pellegrino Young Chef. The three new awards aim to recognise and provide a platform to different young chefs, recognising their varied beliefs and approaches to cuisine. The four awards are:

Fine Dining Lovers Food for Thoughts Award: Voted for by the online Fine Dining Lovers community – this award will be for the young chef who best represents his/her personal belief within his/her dish.

S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility: Voted for by an internationally recognised voice on Sustainability in food – this dish will represent the principle that food is best when it’s the result of social responsible practises.

Acqua Panna Award for Connection in Gastronomy: Voted for by mentors who represent 50 countries around the world – the winning dish will be the one that reflects a connection between different cultures on the plate, celebrating a global approach to gastronomy.

And finally, the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Award: Voted for by the esteemed panel of Seven Sages – this winning chef must demonstrate unrivaled technical skills as well as genuine creativity. He/she will have also displayed a strong personal belief about Gastronomy, that will convince the Jury about his/her ability to become a catalyst for positive change.

For those who want to enter the competition, Chef Vusumuzi has this advice: “Above everything, entrants have to be honest with themselves and not try to imitate other people, because it shows. Ask yourself ‘who are you?’ and really think about what made you start cooking? What started the fire inside you to pursue this wild yet exciting career? Then you’ll see the dish will fall into place easily.”

For more information on the competition as well as for applications for S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2019/20, visit Sanpellegrino.com. Applications open on 4th February 2019 and close on 30th April 2019.