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How To Apply for the S. Pellegrino Young Chefs Academy Competition

Applications close this week for the prestigious culinary competition that has become a springboard for launching chef careers.

winners of S. Pellegrino Young Chef Academy 2023

S. Pellegrino Young Chef Academy 2023.

The S. Pellegrino Young Chefs Academy (SPYCA) is accepting applications for its global culinary competition through this Wednesday, June 19. The initiative supports chefs under the age of 30 currently working in a professional kitchen, and aims to anoint the next generation of gastronomy all-stars.

Chefs who want to apply for the 2024/2025 SPYCA before this week’s deadline can apply online if they meet the age and employment criteria. The competition has helped launch the careers of chefs including Daniel Garwood, executive chef and partner at the about-to-open Acru in NYC, and a former sous chef and award-winning Atomix; he was the U.S. winner in 2022/2023.

judges S. Pellegrino Young Chef Academy
The judges for the 2024-2025 S. Pellegrino Young Chef Academy.

The competition features chefs from 15 regions around the world (Asia, Central Europe, Iberian Countries, Mainland China, and the USA, to name a few). Finalists are chosen in each region from the team at ALMA, the International School of Italian Culinary Arts, where they then compete against one another and prepare their signature dishes for a jury of accomplished chefs and culinary professionals from their respective regions. 

This year’s judges include star NYC chef/restaurateurs Ayesha Nurdjaja (Shuka and Shukette), and Junghyun “JP” Park (Atoboy, Atomix, and Naro), and Miami’s Valerie Chang (Maty’s, Itamae, B Side).

The competition seems aimed at chefs who aspire to work at or to start restaurants of the caliber of the World’s 50 Best, which S. Pellegrino sponsors. SPYCA’s website asks, “Are you the best young chef in the world? It’s time to cook your way to glory!”

Those who want to apply or to refer young chefs to the competition can also read the lengthy  SPYCA FAQ, which has many more details about this exciting opportunity. 

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