Australian Chef Wins S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup

Richard Ousby wins the sailing race and cooking challenge

Australian chef Richard Ousby has won the 12th annual S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup in Venice, Italy. The competition combines a sailing race and a cooking challenge.

Crews on 10 boats, representing areas where S.Pellegrino is sold in Italy, China, Belgium, Luxembourg, Australia, Russia, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, and Sweden, competed in the 12-mile raced from the Lido of Venice to the Island of San Giorgio while chefs cooked meals below deck during the race.

Each chef was given a basket of mystery ingredients selected by ALMA, the International School of Italian Cuisine founded by Gualtiero Marchesi. The chefs met at the Rialto outdoor market before the race to hand-pick the ingredients from the list.

Ousby’s food philosophy centered around the best local produce available in season. The cooking competition began June 22, the evening before the regatta, when Ousby made his signature dish, lardo and prawn dumpling with shaved asparagus, local clams, and summer herbs.

During the Inside the Cooking portion of the race, Ousby whipped up grilled mackerel with garlic custard, split peas, onion, and roasted rice aboard the Timoteo on June 23. The judges evaluated each chef’s dish according to four criteria: presentation, difficulty of execution, taste, and proper pairing with wine and water.

The People’s Choice Award went to David Frenkel, from Israel, for his seared langoustine with oyster vinaigrette.