The S.Pellegrino Young Chef Iberian & Mediterranean Regional Finals are around the corner, and will be held on September 16th at the W Hotel in Barcelona. The finalists will be judged by some of the region’s leading chefs, which includes two Spaniards: Fina Puigdevall, from Les Cols restaurant in Olot; and Lucia Freitas, from A Tafona Casa de Xantar, in Santiago de Compostela.
There are several Spanish finalists, but one stands out in particular: Mengxin Zhou. This young chef, originally from China, participated in ICEX’s Spanish Gastronomy Training Program back in 2013. She interned at Culler de Pau, in El Grove, and she also won the International Tapas Competition in Valladolid. At the moment she co-owns Somiatruites restaurant in Igualada, Catalonia. As part of the competition, she will be mentored by chef David Andrés, former head chef at ABaC.
Other finalists from Spain include Nelson Roque, whose mentor is Domenico Ungaro; Oscar Days Rodriguez, whose mentor is Juan Santiago Fuentes; Andrea Ravasio, whose mentor is Sergio Ivan Pozo Martin; Manuel Bentabol, whose mentor is Pedro Gimenez Rodriguez; and Albert Mando Miras, whose mentor is Francisco, Jose Agudo Redondo.
In addition to the main award, three other distinctions will be presented: Fine Dining Lovers Food for Thought Award, the S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility, and the Acqua Panna Award for Connection in Gastronomy.