Sages give expert view on young chefs in second Academy seminar

Chef Gavin Kaysen of Minneapolis’s Spoon & Stable restaurant likes to channel Albert Einstein when it comes to nurturing the next generation of culinary talents. “My philosophy in training young chefs is E = mc2,” he says. “Enthusiasm = mission x cash and congratulations.”

This was just one of many pearls of wisdom shared in the second seminar from the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy, which, like the first seminar, focused on the results of the Academy’s Monitor Survey 2020.

Kaysen and fellow S.Pellegrino Young Chef global jurors Andreas Caminada, Clare Smyth, Enrico Bartolini, Manu Buffara and Mauro Colagreco were asked to give their opinions on the results of Monitor Survey, which went out to chefs around the world, via food and chef websites, including Fine Dining Lovers, and via email.

The group, also known as the Sages, was able to provide in-depth analysis of just what it is young chefs need today to be successful, as well as share their thoughts on the future of gastronomy after a turbulent year.

Colagreco, of restaurant Mirazur in Menton, France, which currently tops The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, urged young chefs to remain curious and to “look beyond the plate and the four walls of the kitchen” when deciding on the kind of message they want to express with their cooking.

Smyth, of London’s Core restaurant, addressed the pandemic, describing the COVID-crisis as a “catalyst” for change within the industry, while Buffara, of Manu restaurant in Brazil, emphasised the need to “work side by side with nature, not against it” in the hunt for improved restaurant business models and ways of cooking.

Following the seminar, which was available exclusively to members of the Academy in our private Facebook group, the Sages were available to answer questions from members in an online Q&A. Closing the educational program for 2020, it was a taster of the exciting educational opportunities coming up in 2021.