Fine Dining Lovers Food for Thought Award


As part of the application process for the S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition, each entrant was asked to define the meaning behind their dish, what they want to express with the dish and the message, history and identity they wish to communicate.

These are the finalists for the Pacific region, who will be competing on 26 August: now we are asking Fine Dining Lovers’ readers to vote for the one they think is best.

Choose the chef whose dish best encapsulates his/her meaning and message and vote! The winner of the Fine Dining Lovers Food for Thought Award will go on to compete at the Grand Finale for the title of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2019.

You have until 22 August at 12 PM GMT to place your vote.

Vote for the Pacific's regional finalist that best expresses his/her message!


James Bond-Kennedy


Great ocean duck and its seasonal feed

Through my cooking I hope to spread my belief regarding full-circle sustainable, hands-on, ground-up cooking and localism and build a platform on which I can showcase the area I grew up in. My dish displays my ideas of ground-up, hands-on approach to all aspects of cooking: Ducks raised specifically for me, fed with waste and by-fall fruits from the restaurant and other farms, served with seasonally changing ingredients from their feed, from the property they were raised on.

Abhijit Dey

New Zealand

Horopito cured wild venison cooked over Kanuka wood, Karamu berries and feijoa cream with celeriac and Nelson valley saffron reduction

This dish is a part of a project I’m working on known as ‘Food over conflicts. It represents the hardworking saffron growing community back home in Kashmir which has been struggling for the last few years due to political conflicts. Also, it reflects the part of India where I grew up close to the world’s largest Mangrove Sundarban where native berries flowers and honeycomb are produced. Although, it’s on the verge of an environmental disaster and will no longer exist if it’s not treated well.

Joshua Gregory


Duck and red fruits

I’m truly inspired by nature; when coming up with the dish I thought about the woods around the restaurant and the sound of ducks splashing around in the dams. I always remember the ducks eating the fruits that would grow in the gardens of Biota. The dish is served in many parts, it showcases the entire duck and I believe it captures the idea of sharing a meal; many dishes and many friends around a table. I want to show my region and my ideal of honest flavours with a complex approach. It is my story.

Giada Grilli

New Zealand

Last night a pumpkin saved my life

Through this dish I want to express the importance of the environment and the danger we are all facing if we do not change our behaviour towards it. Bearing this in mind, I want to show that a different food culture can be created in order to preserve the world and life on it. I have used techniques from different parts of the world and ingredients that can be found in every continent to show the globality of this issue and how we can express our care for it on a plate.

Daniel Jakobsson


Unloved love

The main focus of a dish doesn’t have to be meat, fish or seafood. We can use parts that are not normally used, parts that are normally unloved. As in this dish; pork rind, beef bones and duck fat. The flavours can be even more complex with less use of animal products. With this dish I want to show how to love parts and ingredients and at the same time show that we can take responsibility for a more sustainable future.

Kezia Kristel


Experiencing mushrooms in flavours & savoury carrot tart

Showcasing vegetables and their family as a platform of art that is edible and delicious using various techniques of cooking with classical concepts and modern influences. I am inspired to use vegetables from the same family because I am fascinated by the beautiful variation of each vegetable and the different flavours that each of the members bring. Also, I used modern techniques in these recipes mainly for adding extra flavour into the dish and reducing the wastage of the ingredient itself.

Jose Lorenzo Morales Morales



This dish represents my eagerness to let my country realize its potential and give visibility to its origins that deserve attention and development. Each ingredient is found abundantly in my country, yet misused. That’s why I want to restore our ancestors’ practices that reflect Filipino traditions, to inspire locals not to forget our history. I applied techniques that would extend from the North to the South of the Philippines in a cohesive manner, not to express sophistication, but an appreciation for a cultural legacy that deserves an identity.

Camille Saint-M'Leux


North Qld lobster cooked in "cocotte", fig tree, pumpkin fermentation, buckwheat

I wanted to make a dish that brings us together, shares and which captivates us and invites us to focus on what we are going to taste.
Here’s an amazing and sustainable product, the North QLD Lobster. I discovered the Lobster cocotte in my first restaurant: taillevent.
A show that stimulates all senses without sacrifice. I rethink all the fillings and sauces and prepared this lobster in a playful way, a noble symbol, a festive dish that goes perfectly with the lobster.

Andrew Tranter

New Zealand

Tangaroa - confit line caught grouper, charcoal roasted red cabbage, fermented squid, tarragon and clam

Growing up in New Zealand exposed me to Maori culture and their traditions. Tangaroa is the Maori god of the sea and this was my inspiration when choosing to use many types of seafood and showcasing them in different ways. The dish was brought to life by specially designing the bowl which draws on elements of paua and koro design. The use of local and sustainable suppliers helps to tie the whole dish together.

Aram Yun


Scampi, parnsip and mint

An explosion of flavour with harmony. This was my first impression of Australia. The first thing I felt when I came to Australia as a chef was the convergence of cultures. There was a very high standard of cuisine in a culture that recognized diversity. The symbiosis of various cultures was very impressive. I wanted to include my memories of Australia's first impression on me in my dish. In other words, I wanted to express the depth of the flavour that explodes in the harmony of various cultures.

What message, history and identity would you like to express with your dish?
Thank you for voting!

The winner of the Fine Dining Lovers Food for Thought Award will be announced during each Regional Final. Remember to check the Fine Dining Lovers website for updates and to discover the regional winners when they are announced!