Following a day of outstanding performances by ten of Southeast Asia’s most talented rising chefs, Jake Kellie has been announced the winner of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Southeast Asia Regional Final 2017, and will advance to the global finals round which will take place from 11 to 13 May 2018 in Milan, Italy.
The South East Asia Regional S. Pellegrino Competition took place on Monday, October 23rd 2017 at the Asian Culinary Institute in Singapore. A distinguished jury of chefs, including Richard Ekkebus of Amber Restaurant at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental (Hong Kong), Tetsuya Wakuda of Tetsuya’s (Australia) and Waku Ghin (Singapore), Mingoo Kang of Mingles (Korea), Chele Gonzalez of Gallery VASK (Phillipines) and Vicky Lau of Tate Dining Room & Bar (Hong Kong), tasted and evaluated each of the semi-finalists prepared signature dishes based on their adherence to the competition’s five “Golden Rules”: ingredients, skill, genius, beauty, and message.
The illustrious 27-year-old Jake Kellie started his chef career in 2011, and quickly became one of the rising chefs in the Australian dining scene. With a long list of achievements, including being termed “The Age Young Chef of the Year” for two consecutive years in 2015 and 2016, Jake relocated to Singapore this year to join Burnt Ends as its Head Chef.
His signature Aged Pigeon 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, such as the riberry and blackberry compote finished with finger limes, the beetroot salt-baked in wattle seed with roasted pigeon drippings, and the pigeon broth finished with an eight-year-old fortified wine from South Australia. The plate was also specially made in Australia, and glazed with the ashes from the oven of Burnt Ends.
By the end of December 2017, 21 young chefs will be announced as official finalists, who will each be assigned a “mentor chef” from their regional jury. Leading up to the grand finale in Milan that will take place in May next year, the mentor chefs will support the young chefs and provide them guidance on how to improve their signature dishes.