Representing Asia, the Singaporean chef under 30 stood out in the Competition for his ability to represent his personal beliefs and roots in his signature dish.

MILAN, June 29, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — As anticipation builds for the Grand Finale of S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition 2022-23, which will be held in Milan on 4 and 5 October 2023, S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy is pleased to announce that Ian Goh is the winner of the Fine Dining Lovers Food for Thought Award.

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The prize, one of three collateral awards of the Competition, is given to the chef who best represents her or his personal beliefs in their signature dish and is voted for by Fine Dining Lovers readers.

With his Heritage lamb signature dish – conceived with the help of his Regional Final mentor Louis Han – the sous chef from one-Michelin-star Nae:um in Singapore wowed the voting public, beating the entries of 14 other talented regional finalists from around the world.

"This dish blends my love of lamb with my hope to highlight my Hainanese heritage," commented Goh. "I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor than chef Louis Han, the chef-owner of Nae:um, considering that he himself competed for the same title in 2016. We spent long hours together not only for the training itself, but he also helped me to boost my confidence and mental steadfastness. He brought a wealth of experience and knowledge. Joining the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition was a great experience. I think it gives a platform for young chefs to shine,” he added.

Valeria Raimondi, Fine Dining Lovers’ Editor-in-Chief, added: "We’re pleased and honoured to assign this edition’s Food for Thought Award, a result of online votes from the Fine Dining Lovers community, to Ian Goh. This award puts the spotlight on the message of the dish, its hidden history and the values it reflects: a way to highlight that contemporary cuisine is not only based on innovative technique and refined ingredients but is deeply connected with the thoughts behind every single recipe. We all know how important it is, especially for a young chef who wants to emerge in the international gastronomy landscape, to have a strong personal identity: that’s why we’re very proud to give recognition to the one voted as the most consistent."

Considering education vital to help nurture the next generation of culinary talents, the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy has created a series of inspiring workshops for the young finalists of the three collateral awards to explore the most relevant topics for the industry.

During ‘Identity on the plate’, Fine Dining Lovers Food for Thought Award finalists – in a discussion moderated by Tom Jenkins, Fine Dining Lovers journalist and Academy representative – explored together with well-known members of the international chef community – Henrique Sa Pessoa, Peter Gilmore, DeAille Tam, Selassie Atadika and Debora Fadul, as well as food writer Paola Miglio – how chefs can express their identity and personality through food, and practice thoughtful innovation.

How does cooking help shape chefs’ identities and allow them to express themselves? How do you innovate in the kitchen without losing sight of your role of feeding people well, and how do you remain unique as a chef? These are just a few of the questions the chefs attempted to answer based on their experiences, sparking an inspiring discussion, with Tom Jenkins highlighting as key messages: "Chefs come to cooking at different stages of life and through different routes, there is no ‘one size fits all’ career path but once they’ve found cooking and realise they are able to express themselves and talk about all the things that have shaped them through their food, they are hooked. In order to remain unique it’s important to stay true to yourself and shut out the noise – that’s not to say social media isn’t a useful tool, but senior chefs advise young chefs against being unduly influenced by what they see online. Your uniqueness as a chef, what makes you, you – all agree – is your greatest strength and innovation doesn’t just apply to what you put on the plate – you can also be innovative in the way that you treat people as we seek to create a better industry for all".

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About S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy

Gastronomy has the potential to transform society, shaping a more inclusive, more sustainable future. But doing requires talent. That’s why S.Pellegrino has created S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy, a platform to attract, connect and nurture the next generation of culinary talents. An environment that will empower them through education, mentoring and experience opportunities, as well as through the renowned global competition.

The Academy opens its doors to members from over 70 different countries, ensuring that talent is not constrained by geography, ethnicity, or gender. This is a place where passionate young chefs interact with the most influential players in global gastronomy, and where together they cultivate an inspiring culinary community.

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About S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna

S.Pellegrino, Acqua Panna and Sanpellegrino Italian Sparkling Drinks are international trademarks of Sanpellegrino S.p.A., which is based in Milan, Italy. Distributed in over 150 countries through branches and distributors on all five continents, these products represent quality, excellence by virtue of their origins and perfectly interpret Italian style worldwide as a synthesis of pleasure, health and well-being. Founded in 1899, Sanpellegrino S.p.A. is the leading company in the beverage sector in Italy with its range of mineral waters, non-alcoholic aperitifs and drinks.

Sanpellegrino has always been committed to enhancing this primary good for the planet and works responsibly and passionately to ensure that this resource has a secure future.


Ian Goh, winner of the Fine Dining Lovers Food for Thought Award
Ian Goh, winner of the Fine Dining Lovers Food for Thought Award