The third edition of the competition Chef of the Year was launched earlier this month. After an exciting decision by the jury of chefs the two winners of the semi-finals in northern Germany are: Sven Pietschmann, second chef at restaurant Fährhaus** on the island of Sylt, and Matthias Pietsch, Sous Chef at Lago* in Ulm.
Only eight candidates out of 63 received applications received were chosen as candidates in the preliminary round: In a captivating live competition these young chefs found the ideal platform to present their skills. The gastronomy spectacle drew hundreds of guests to the Unilever House, where they followed the suspenseful events in the kitchen. Assessing the creative three-course menus the jury was looking for the correct technical processes and originality – but most of all taste.
The top-class jury, consisting of top chefs Dieter Müller, Thomas Bühner, Miguel Contreras, Fred Nowack, Thomas Macyszyn, Thomas Martin, Dirk Rogge, Sebastian Frank and Heinz Otto Wehmann, chose the two winners: Sven Pietschmann triumphed with a menu of half-pickled fjord trout with celery and watercress as the starter, followed by roast saddle of venison covered in crunchy malt bread, and the dessert "Délice of raspberries, vanilla and violets". Second-placed Matthias Pietsch convinced the jury with an appetizer of tomato, cauliflower and coriander, suckling pig, trout caviar, peas and apricot as the main course and raspberry, corn and dark chocolate for dessert. At the awards ceremony, the lucky winner was given the key to the finals: an exclusive gold-plated knife by Friedr. Dick. At the grand final at Anuga in Cologne, he will not only have the chance for a prestigious title and big career jump, but also the prize money of €26,000.
In addition, three exclusive special prizes were awarded. The "United Against Waste Award" from Unilever Food Solutions for the respectful handling of food went to the second-placed Matthias Pietsch. The prize for "The dish above and beyond" by Ron Zacapa for the best food pairing with rum went to Frédéric Morel from the Hamburg Se7ven Oceans for his main course of Ibérico pork, manioc and XO. For the most surprising dessert moment, winner Sven Pietschmann was honoured with the "Better Dessert Initiative Award" by Lagnese and Service-Bund.
The following participants entered the semi-finals in Hamburg:
Marco Ambo Masse, Sous Chef Sabai (Hamburg)
Igor Ferri, chef Trattoria La Stalla (Hambach)
David Kikillus, chef Kikillus Restaurant (Dortmund)
Christian Mathiak, 2nd chef Landhaus Stricker* (Sylt)
Frédéric Morel, Sous Chef Se7en Oceans (Hamburg)
Matthias Pietsch, Sous Chef Lago* (Ulm)
Sven Pietschmann, 2nd chef restaurant Ferry** (Sylt)
Martin Zeissl, Sous Chef Restaurant Motto am Fluss (Vienna)
In addition to the exciting live cooking, guests could enjoy a colourful programme with appearances by the iChefs Sebastian Frank, Matthias Gfrörer and Jan-Ole Didwischus. The event was presenter by TV chef Martina Kömpel throughout the day. A successful and great day came to a close with the Ron Zacapa Night in the evening, delicious treats and subsequent live broadcast of the World Cup game.
More information at www.kochdesjahres.de
© Koch des Jahres / Melanie Bauer Photodesign