Falko Weiss took gold in the Germany and Austria regional heat of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 when he wowed the panel of chef judges with his dish entitled city, land, river.
The 24-year-old chef finalist from restaurant à la Minute in Trier, Germany, who also entered last year’s competition, returns afresh equipped with a new recipe influenced by his homeland and a steely determination to succeed this time round.
We found out more about him ahead of one of the biggest cooking days of his fledgling career.
Please describe your signature dish …
I chose my signature dish, because the individual components are memories of my youth and cooking together with my family. I wanted to create something very special and exciting my dish.
What made you become a chef?
Since I was small I wanted to become a cook. I always wanted to dominate the variety of flavours and to create my own dishes. For me there is no better feeling than satisfied guests.
Who has influenced you in your career?
On the one hand the restaurant where I got my education. It was there that I learned all my technical skills and how to combine ingredients and create new things with the best possible taste. Then on the other hand there are all my colleagues and the restaurants that I have worked in which have influenced me strongly.
Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years’ time?
In about 5 to 10 years I will fascinate people in my restaurant and my catering company with my culinary skills. I will mediate my message of casual fine dining. During cooking classes I will pass on my knowledge and experience.
How are you/will you collaborate with your mentor in order to perfect your dish for the Grand Finale?
My mentor, Karlheinz Hauser, and I work together very closely. We believe in the dish and in its meaningfulness. We have optimized the presentation to be focused on the ingredients. To get the best possible taste we refined it with special components.
What is the most exciting/challenging element of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition for you?
It is the biggest thing for me to join a big international competition with the planning and implementation of my own dish and be able to compete with 20 other great cooks.
Why do you think you can win the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 title?
Why not? I believe in my dish and in its message. It shows 100% who I am and how I cook.
If you weren’t a chef what would you be?
I would be a confectioner.
What’s your most memorable food experience?
I had the best dining experience at the restaurant Vendôme, some years ago. The combination of flavours and technical precision were incredible. The focus on regional products was memorable.
What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time I love to go to different restaurants with my colleagues and see how other cooks work. In this way I can new ideas of combinations and impressions. Sometimes we even cook at home to test new menus.
Please explain why you decided to compete in the competition again?
The Idea of the competition motivated me to join again. The thought to create one dish that is planned and cooked in its best way and that is part of a world final and maybe the winner is my incentive.