The Latin America Regional Final of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2019-2020 took place on the 17th of September, with an outstanding show of talent from some of the most talented young chefs from Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico.
Cynthia Xrysw Ruelas from Mexico was announced as the winner and will be representing the Latin America region in the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Finale that will take place in Milan in 2020. Ruelas won the judges over with her signature dish, Milpa y Mar.
The signature dish was made with native lisa fish wrapped in lengua de vaca (a wild Mexican herb) cooked over coal, served with grilled blue corn dough, a fish broth made with lisa fish, nixtamalized native corn, accompanied by a chilhuacle emulsion of red, yellow and black chiles, Mexican dark chocolate and lechuguilla vinegars and lisa roe.
The young chef from Xokol restaurant in Guadalajara, Mexico was guided by her mentor Francisco Ruano. Ruelas began her culinary career in restaurants such as El Delfín by renowned chef Betty Vázquez in San Blas, on the Riviera Nayarit; La Leche, gourmet store, in Jalisco; Bone Workshop of chef Alfonso Cadena, also in Jalisco, and Share of Michelin star chef Curtis Stone.
Currently, in addition to being co-owner of the Ajumú Cooking Workshop pop up, Ruelas is interested in the consumption of Creole corn, which was the inspiration for Xokol Antojería, which also functions as a mill and tortillería of the same product.
"I am very happy. After all the effort and dedication these are the fruits and the proof that dreams can come true. Now, I will do everything to raise the awareness of Mexican cuisine," said Cynthia Xrysw Ruelas.
The esteemed Regional Jury this year included Jefferson Rueda (Brazil), Carolina Bazan (Chile), Harry Sasson (Colombia), Elena Reygadas (Mexico) and Pia León (Peru). To reflect S.Pellegrino’s belief in and support of, the transformative power of gastronomy and its impact beyond the kitchen, the following three awards have been introduced to the competition to complement the existing S.Pellegrino Young Chef award:
Acqua Panna Award for Connection in Gastronomy Winner: Abraham Almazán
S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility Winner: Sebastián Pinzón Giraldo
Fine Dining Lovers Food for Thought Award Winner: Eliodoro Xicum
All of the winners of the additional three awards will also be invited to attend the Grand Finale, affording them another opportunity to network with some of the biggest names in gastronomy from around the globe.