Gregoire Berger, head chef at Ossiano, Atlantis The Palm has won the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 regional challenge for the Middle East and Africa.
Chef Gregoire will represent the MEA region at the grand finale in Milan on 13 October 2016, where he will compete against 19 other regional finalists from across the globe for the S. Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 title.
Commenting on the regional win, Berger said: “It was a moment when time just stopped; the kind of emotion you cannot describe. I can’t believe it; it’s so exciting and I’ve made so many sacrifices in order to achieve it.
“I’m so proud of the dish I presented and it’s a token of my gratitude to all my chefs that I used to work with and a huge achievement in my career.”
Berger was one of 10 semifinalists from across Middle East & Africa who gathered in Cape Town on 26 July to compete for the chance to make it to the finals.
Among the semifinalists were three other chefs from the Middle East: Harda Azman, Nino, Kuwait, Michael O’Shea, The Ivy, Dubai and Eka Mochamad, Bateaux Dubai.
O’Shea and Mochamad were awarded second and third place respectively.
Berger’s winning dish was Kerguelen Islands legine and cured goose with a ponzu insert, potato shell stuffed with agria espuma, roasted and sour jus, artichoke and black truffle, shimeji, and tarragon powder.
Mark Patten, senior vice president food & beverage, Atlantis, The Palm commented: “Gregoire is a truly talented individual and we are all very proud of his accomplishments. His passion for food, philosophy and working with people are second to none and we feel very privileged to have him within the Atlantis family”
“We wish him all the best for the final in Milan and I am sure he will work as hard as ever to wow the judges with his amazing creations.”
Ahead of the final, the 20 regional winners will be assigned a mentor chef who will advise them on how to improve their signature dishes so that they can demonstrate their best work on the day.
Berger has been assigned South African chef, chantel Dartnall, S. Pellegrino’s Chef of the Year 2014. He comments: “I will be happy to share the challenge with my mentor, Chantel Dartnall, and you can believe that we are going to fight for [the trophy].”
The event is an opportunity for participants to learn from other talent, gain global visibility and come into close contact with well-known chefs.
These include the ‘Seven Sages’ grand finale jury, which features: David Higgs, Carlo Cracco, Gaggan Anand, Elena Arzak, Mauro Colagreco, Wylie Dufresne and Roberta Sudbrack.
S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 was created by sparkling water brand, S.Pellegrino to promote emerging talent in the culinary world.