Italian born chef, Antonio Buono, will represent France at the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Grand Finale in Milan in May 2018.
He will showcase his signature recipe of red Mediterranean Scorpion, black rust, rhubarb, celery and mountain flowers, a dish described as "simple yet explosive" by Frédéric Anton, his professional chef mentor for the duration of the competition.
Buono counts extensive work experience in his culinary training, having honed his skills in professional kitchens in Italy and Spain as well as a period in Los Gatos, California, working alongside David Kinch at Manresa, also home to last year’s winner Mitch Lienhard.
Today, chef Buono can be found at three Michelin star Mirazur in Menton in the south of France, working alongside chef Mauro Colagreco.
We caught up with him to find out more about him as a chef, his motivations, his ambitions as well as his final preparation for the Grand Finale, where he will face off against the 20 other global finalists:
Describe your signature dish…
It’s a 'Mediterranean scorpion fish with lovage, rhubarb, black rouille, mountain herbs and flowers'. I chose this dish because the ingredients are vegetables, fruit, fish and meat (the foie gras in the black rouille) and to me this complexity of ingredients represents my way of cooking.
What made you become a chef?
My stubbornness: after many years of hard work I finally realized my dream since I was a child!
Who has influenced you in your career?
Chef Mauro Colagreco for sure. It is thanks to him that I am realizing my objectives.
Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years time?
I tend to live day by day.
How are you/will you collaborate with your mentor in order to perfect your dish for the Grand Finale?
I think we will bring some new things to the dish...
What is the most exciting/challenging element of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition for you?
To cook in front of an international and prestigious jury. It’s an overwhelming emotion to have Frédéric Anton as my mentor. I will honour his presence the best way I can.
Why do you think you can win the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 title?
I have never said that: it brings bad luck!
If you weren’t a chef what would you be?
A football player!
What’s your most memorable food experience?
I do like street food, it helps me thinking out of the box and expressing myself.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to spend my free time with my family and friends.