After a day of great performances from 10 talented chefs from the Benelux region, Frederic Chastro from Suna's restaurant in Antwerp was named the winner of the local S.Pellegrino Young Chef contest and will compete for the international title in Milan in June 2018.
The Benelux final, which took place on 25 September at the ROC Mondriaan in The Hague, saw 10 of the most talented chefs from across the region, as selected by ALMA, cook head to head in a five-hour competition to produce their signature dishes for tasting by a panel of top chefs.
However, it was Chastro’s dish, a 'roll of Belgian rabbit, offal and brain, with organic endives and a rich sauce based on dark beer', which convinced the panel of chefs, including Jaimie van Heije and Ron Blaauw that he should take gold.
Speaking of his win, Chastro commented: "I opened a restaurant two months ago, so this exposure may mean I’m busy very soon. Of course, it’s good and maybe good practice for the big international final. Fortunately, I have the best coach, so this will be a very special and beautiful period.”
Chastro will be accompanied to the Grand Finale by chef Peter Goossens, also known as 'The Godfather of Belgian Cuisine.’ He opened his first restaurant in 1987, later opening the three-Michelin-starred Hof van Cleve in Kruishoutem, Belgium. Since then, he has received several awards and recognitions, including in 1998 being the youngest chef with two Michelin stars. Speaking of the opportunity afforded by S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 he said, "In our gastronomy, knowledge of generation is passed on to generations, which I think is very important."
They will have several months to work together on perfecting the signature dish ready to be presented to the Seven Sages in June 2018 for their final judgement. At this pinnacle of the competition, 21 young chef finalists from around the world will compete for the ultimate accolade, the title of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018.