The 2016 S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition - the international project dedicated to finding the best young chef in the world - will this year divide competitors into 20 regions and involve around 100 top chefs as jurors after the 2015 competition attracted more than 3,000 applications.
The organisers of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 competition have also announced a new panel of judges known as the Seven Sages, which includes: David Higgs, Carlo Cracco, Gaggan Anand, Elena Arzak, Mauro Colagreco, Wylie Dufresne and Roberta Sudbrack.
The first phase of the competition, which launched on 1 January, calls on all young chefs across the world to submit their application together with their signature dish before 31 March 2016. Young chefs must be no older than 30 and are required to have at least one year's experience working in a restaurant as chefs, sous chefs or chefs de partie.
In phase two the candidates will be divided into 20 geographic areas and have their applications assessed by ALMA, the world's leading international training centre for Italian cuisine. Throughout the month of April 2016, ALMA will select the 10 finalists for each region.
The regional finals, which kick off phase three, will see 10 finalists in each area move on to the local finals, where live competitions will be held locally from 1 May until 15 August. The finalists will be asked to cook their signature dishes for an exclusive regional jury composed of independent top chefs. The 2016 UK and Ireland judging panel includes Claude Bosi, Ollie Dabbous, JP McMahon and Ross Lewis.
During the summer of 2016 the 20 Best Regional Young Chefs from each world region will be assigned a mentor chef - a member of the regional jury - who will provide the young chefs with suggestions to improve their signature dishes and help them prepare for the global finals. The UK and Ireland mentor chef will be two Michelin-starred chef and owner of Hibiscus, Claude Bosi.
The grand finale will consist of two days cooking in front of the international panel of judges and will take place in Milan from the 13 October 2016.
Mark Moriarty, global winner of the 2015 competition, represented the UK and Ireland. He said: "I was delighted and honoured to be named the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015. The journey was an unforgettable, one off experience that I will always remember. I met so many fantastic chefs along the way and the title has made an incredible difference to my career as a whole."
For full competition rules and an application form visit www.finedininglovers.com and follow the competition on social media with #SPYoungChef and @finedininglover on Twitter.
Applications are open until 31 March 2016.
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