Head Chef Jake Kellie, from Singapore’s acclaimed Burnt Ends restaurant, is chosen as the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018, Southeast Asia Regional Final
On October 23rd this year the announcement was made that the winner of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Southeast Asia Regional Final had been chosen. Following a day of outstanding performances, by ten of Southeast Asia’s most talented rising kitchen stars, Jake Kellie from Singapore’s Burnt Ends restaurant won the prestigious competition in a unanimous decision. He will now go on to represent the region at the global finals in Milan.
With his ‘Aged Pigeon’ signature dish (pictured, bottom right), this Australian-born chef finished ahead of nine other contenders, who came to the competition representing such SE Asian countries as Indonesia, Maldives, India, and Malaysia. There were also two competitors from Thailand, namely Ployumporn Ar-Yucharoen, Chef de Partie at the venerable La Scala restaurant at the Sukhothai Hotel Bangkok, and Jim Ophorst, Chef at PRU restaurant at Phuket’s outstanding Trisara resort.
The competitors were all hand-selected by ALMA, the world’s leading international educational and training centre for Italian cuisine. Meanwhile, a distinguished jury of chefs tasted and evaluated each of dish based on their adherence to the competition’s five ‘Golden Rules’: ingredients, skill, genius, beauty, and message.
Kellie, the 27-year-old champion, started his culinary career in 2011, and quickly became one of the rising chefs in the Australian dining scene. After being termed ‘The Age Young Chef of the Year’ for two consecutive years (2015 and 2016), Jake then relocated to Singapore where he joined the Burnet Ends team.
His signature dish conveys his culinary philosophy: simplicity, technique and produce. Choosing to work with his favourite protein, the main star of the dish is undeniably the pigeon that has been aged in pepper leaves, hay and strawberry gum for two weeks. Jake pays homage to his birth country with the use of native Australian ingredients such as flowers, berries and citrus fruits, and even an eight-year-old fortified wine from South Australia.
Richard Ekkebus, Executive Chef of Mandarin Oriental Landmark Hotel in Hong Kong, will be leading Jake Kellie to the Grand Finale as his assigned mentor.
“I feel happy and humbled to be representing South East Asia. Chef Richard Ekkebus is a phenomenal chef, and I’m looking forward to learning from him,” remarked an emotional Kellie at the awards ceremony. “I’m in this to represent the region, and also to win. Moving forward, I’ll be perfecting my dish, including bringing more love and care to each component,”
By the end of December 2017, a total of 21 Young Chefs will be announced as official finalists, leading up to the Grand Finale in Milan that will take place in May 2018.
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