Alessandro Bergamo, the young sous chef from Milan’s Cracco restaurant who in May will seek to become the new S.Pellegrino Young Chef, has another culinary title in his sights: the Bocuse d’Or.
Bergamo will lead the Italian team out in Lyon, France at the ‘Culinary Olympics’ on 2 June 2021. The biennial competition, which has been running since 1987, is one of the toughest gastronomic challenges on the planet.
Italy and Bergamo secured their place as one of the top 10 teams at the European final in Tallinn in October. Gold was won by S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 finalist Christian André Pettersen and the Norway team.
With his sights set on culinary excellence, the first half of 2021 is set to be extremely busy for the young chef from Como. Having won the Italy & South East Europe Regional Final of S. Pellegrino Young Chef 2019-2021, Bergamo will head to Milan along with mentor Antonia Klugmann for the Grand Finale in May. Just weeks later he’ll be travelling to Lyon, to compete for Bocuse d’Or gold.
But, he says, competing in two prestigious competitions so close together could work to his advantage.
“Training for the S.Pellegrino Young Chef final will help the Bocuse d’Or and vice versa,” he says. “The union of the two will make me stronger!”
And while it is Klugmann who will help him refine his dish of ‘Meglio un Uovo Oggi o una Gallina Domani?’ (‘Better an Egg Today or a Chicken Tomorrow?’) in pursuit of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef title, he’s grateful for all the mentoring and advice he’s received in preparation for these two huge culinary competitions, absorbing information “like a sponge,” not least from former Sage and current boss Carlo Cracco.
“Being able to work for a man and chef like Carlo Cracco is simply fortunate and an honor. He has passed the level of cook and chef to become a mentor and model to follow,” says Bergamo.