S.Pellegrino Young Chefs Paul Prinsloo and Jerome Ianmark Calayag shared a kitchen at Gåte Restaurant, Stellenbosch, where their four hands created some of the most unique and tasty dishes.
South African Prinsloo and Swede Calayag, from Portal Restaurant in Stockholm, were finalist and winner respectively of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy 2019-21 competition.
They showcased their talent for food in two 10-course meals, which included mouth-watering dishes such as dry aged trout, warthog, fermented citrus and much more. Just as unique as it sounds, so was the taste of the many different flavours.
Calayag grew up seeing his grandmother and father, cook in the kitchen in the Philippines, and had a love for cooking and eating. He draws his inspiration from it and is creative with his hands.
‘’Inspiration for dishes comes from all over. What new ingredient haven’t we put on the menu, how can we make it taste great and look artistic goes hand in hand for me. It needs to be beautiful and taste good. No matter how good it tastes if it can’t be beautiful we don’t use it,’’ said Prinsloo.
Since the competition the chefs’ lives have been impacted positively. ‘’It gave me tremendous amounts of exposure and good friends across the world that have the same passion for cooking,’’ Prinsloo said.
‘’The S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition has given me a lot more freedom, and opportunities to cook the food that I really enjoy cooking, it has also given me a lot of different and new ventures,“ Calayag added.
The chefs gave advice to upcoming talented chefs, with Prinsloo sharing: ‘’Trust the process and don’t try and chase the title. Learn from your mentors as much as you can. You’re not in a race with other young chefs. Your time will come to be a head chef one day.’’
‘’Follow your passion, don’t go after money. And do it before you think that you are ready,’’ Calayag concluded.