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22nd April 2022

S.Pellegrino research reveals challenges facing hospitality industry

Written by: Edward Waddell
UK kitchens are having to wait an average of five months to recruit chefs with the right skill set, according to research from fine-dining water S.Pellegrino.

The S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy, a global initiative which is currently searching for the best chefs under 30, surveyed 100 chef employers to reveal the biggest challenges facing the hospitality industry today.

Despite the research finding that 55% of chef employers believe there is a wealth of gastronomy talent in the UK, two-thirds (67%) said that the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has put young people off from starting a career in hospitality. Around 77% of those surveyed said more effort needs to be made into attracting young talent to the industry.

The S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy is campaigning to improve perceptions of the sector and nurture the talent of tomorrow through a global network where some of the world’s leading chefs can share ideas, best practice and inspiration.

Applications for the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition 2022/23 remain open, with chefs under the age of 30 having until 31st May 2022 to apply. To start the application and discover more about the initiative visit:

Selected participants for the UK competition will join the Regional Finals event that will take place on 11th and 12th OctoberThey will show their talent and compete in front of a prestigious jury made up of renowned members of the chef community, including: Jason Atherton, Francesco Mazzei, Lisa Goodwin Allen, Claude Bosi, Sally Abe, Skye Gyngell and Sat Bains.

The research found 76% of those surveyed believe that fine dining chefs are the biggest inspiration for young chefs, which is why S.Pellegrino works with leading chefs every year to be part of this initiative.

Commenting on being part of the UK jury, Jason Atherton said: “It’s a pleasure to be part of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef judging panel. Now more than ever we need to inspire and nurture the next generation of chefs and this competition helps to do just that. There is so much talent within our industry and to be able to spot and highlight these extraordinary individuals is an honour.”

The Signature Dishes will be evaluated on the basis of three Golden Rules:

1. Technical skills: ability to select the finest ingredients in terms of quality, freshness and uniqueness, to obtain an excellent taste, combined with technical skills that bring out the flavours of the ingredients, whilst maintaining their original essence.

2. Creativity: ability to explore original, stimulating, and innovative perspectives with a personal and contemporary style, whilst maintaining a perfect balance between flavour and aesthetic appearance.

3. Personal belief: ability to communicate a clear message that summarises the ‘vision’ of their work, their vision of the world of food and their contribution to today’s society in general through food.