Shintaro Awa: “Since I was young cooking was always close to me”

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Shintaro Awa was named the best young chef in France region during the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 regional heat and he will now put his passion for cooking to the test at the Grand Finale in Milan under the guidance of mentor chef Yannick Alléno.

We spoke to him about his preparations on how he turned a passion into a profession.

My dish is unique because…
I choose the best technique for each ingredient. Dried, candied, soufflé, roast etc.

What are the main influences in your signature dish?
I wanted to present a dish of French cuisine, mixing tradition and modernity. So I asked myself, "What do fishermen eat here?" and I immediately thought mackerel. It is an ordinary product that we do not often see in restaurants so it's a great product.
Then I chose Noirmoutier potatoes just because I wanted to stay with the marine spirit to bring the dish together. 

How are you collaborating with your S.Pellegrino Young Chef mentor in order to perfect your dish for the final?
We have meetings once a month to exchange ideas.

What led you to choosing a career in the kitchen?
My father ran a Japanese restaurant, so since I was young cooking was always close to me.

Who has been a mentor to you throughout your career?
I enjoyed working with Chef Régis Marcon.

What are your professional ambitions?
To work in different countries.

What’s the best dish you ever tasted? Where did you eat it and who cooked it?
I like dishes for sharing, like stews, roast chicken on a spit, dishes prepared in a big pot and we share. Friendly atmosphere that takes a good secret taste.

What is the most exciting/challenging element of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition for you?
That I can work with the ingredients that I want.

What will you do if you win the competition?
I want to share in the passion with cooks from different countries, traveling more and expand my cooking universe.