Each young chef presented their chosen plates before a panel of esteemed judges: Wylie Dufresne (Alder), Amanda Freitag (Empire Diner), Paul Qui (Qui restaurant), and Blaine Wetzel (Willows Inn on Lummi Island).
The winning plate came from 30-year-old Vinson Petrillo, chef at Zero George Street Hotel and Restaurant in Charleston, S.C., who prepared pressurized octopus with Wagyu cheek agnilotti, “parsley,” chorizo, and octopus ink emulsion.
In order to prepare for the next step of the competition, Petrillo and Wylie Dufresne will head to Milan to strategize for the Expo competition. The 20 finalists, all from different countries, will be paired by Vogue Italia with a rising fashion designer. Each pair will collaborate to create dishes and clothing designs that complement one another. The cuisine and couture will be judged independently and as a pair.
“I was honored to be a part of this unique and exciting culinary competition, partnering with S.Pellegrino to support emerging young talent,” said Wylie Dufresne. “Chef Petrillo demonstrated an impressive level of innovation and creativity and the panel of chef judges are confident that he will do an exceptional job in Milan.”
Contestants will be judged by a seven-person panel, comprised of internationally celebrated chefs Gastón Acurio, Yannick Alléno, Massimo Bottura, Margot Janse, Yoshihiro Narisawa, Éric Ripert and Joan Roca.
The winning chef contestant will be named S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015, while the winning duo will be named Best Couple Chef-Designer 2015.