Following an intense day of competitive cooking in New York City, John Taube IV was named the best young chef in the region, and will now have the honour of representing the US at the Grand Finale of S.Pellegrino Young Chef in Milan in 2018.
The US local competition, which was held at 4 World Trade Centre on 17 October, saw 10 of the US’s emerging young talents, as selected by Alma cookery school, cook head to head with the hope of becoming best in region.
Following five intense hours of cooking, each chef was given the opportunity to present their signature dishes for judging by a panel of distinguished chefs: Gavin Kaysen, April Bloomfield, Daniela Soto-Innes, Mitch Lienhard and Dave Beran. Each dish was assessed against the principles outlined in the Golden Rules.
Despite tough competition from the nine other semi-finalists, it was the sous chef from The NoMad Hotel with his deceptively simple dish of ‘Squab and a Beet’ that garnered a unanimous decision from the chefs: “He had 51 ingredients in the dish, but when you look at it, it’s simple. 51 things, but it was essentially beet and squab,” said chef Kaysen.
The elated young chef was overwhelmed with his win:
"It’s an incredible honor to be given the opportunity to represent the U.S. at the Grand Finale in Milan," said Chef Taube IV. "It was a pleasure to compete with nine other world class young chefs and I'm thrilled to have been selected by this highly respected panel of judges. I'm looking forward to learning from Chef Gavin Kaysen and working with him ahead of the global competition next year.”
Henceforth, Taube will be mentored by Minneapolis-based chef Kaysen. Having been VP of the gold-winning Team USA at the famous Bocuse d’Or cooking competition in Lyon, Kaysen’s experience will hold Taube in good stead.
"The level of passion and creativity demonstrated by all chef competitors today was truly impressive," said Chef Kaysen. "The chef jury felt Chef Taube IV made a particularly strong impression, proving he has the qualities necessary to stand out on a global stage. We are confident that he will make the U.S. culinary community proud at the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 Grand Finale, and I am proud to serve as his mentor leading up to and during that competition."
The duo will have the coming months to work on presentation and perfecting Taube’s dish in preparation for the climax of the competition, when 21 regional finalists face off on the world stage at the Grand Finale, Milan 2018 in front of the Seven Sages.