Hong Kong, China – Media OutReach – 8 August 2019 – The Young Chef Challenge is back for the third year when Seafood Expo Asia opens its door at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on 3-5 September 2019. The Young Chef Challenge, which debuted in 2017 as an initiative of Diversified Communications, organizer of Seafood Expo Asia, aims to nurture young culinary talents and promote sustainable seafood options.
Seafood Expo Asia is the region’s leading showcase of the world’s premium seafood products, equipment and services as well the preferred industry meeting place for buyers and suppliers looking for the latest seafood industry trends. Last year, the exposition attracted over 7580 seafood professionals from 68 countries and over 220 exhibitors from 34 countries.
According to WWF*, Hong Kong ranks second in terms of seafood consumption in Asia, and is the world’s eighth largest seafood consumption market, consuming 65.5 kg per capita on average each year. This number is more than three times higher than the global average. While about 90 per cent of the world’s natural fish stocks are either fully or over-exploited, it is imperative to promote the awareness of sustainable seafood options.
However, sustainable seafood consumption is on the rise. A report from Coherent Market Insights** stated that the global sustainable seafood market was valued at US$12.71 billion in 2017 and is projected for a CAGR of 4.97% over the period of 2018- 2025. Growth of the global sustainable seafood market is due to growing awareness amongst consumers and manufacturers on sustainable certified seafood.
The Young Chef Challenge features a cook-off between six of Hong Kong’s top rising culinary talents, who are required to use sustainable seafood ingredients that are only revealed to them on the day of the live events. They will be mentored by a panel of judges who will comment on their skills as well as their responsible and sustainable culinary practices. “This competition is a great way for young chefs to broaden their experience outside their kitchens! The live cook-off experience and the feedback from the judging panel certainly helped to elevate my skills and food preparation knowledge,” said Miss Tsz Yan Lui, winner of the 2018 Young Chef Challenge.
The 2019 judging panel brings together established culinary professional including Chef Robert Nilsson, Culinary Director, W Hong Kong; Chef Glenn Saussey, Executive Chef, Renaissance Harbour View Hotel Hong Kong; Chef Matthew Woolford, Executive Chef, Kerry Hotel Hong Kong, Chef Esther Sham. Executive Chef, Director of Maison ES, and Young Chef Challenge Ambassador, Chef Gabriel Choy, Winner of the Gordon Ramsay Scholar competition 2005. Members of the judging panel are enthusiastic in promoting ethically sourced food ingredients and embracing the concept of nurturing the next generation of culinary talents.
Six of the industry’s most promising young culinary talents have been selected as the finalists for this year’s onsite live cook-off. They are Wing Chiu, TANG , Jr. sous chef, Hong Kong Jockey Club; Kit Ying, LAM, Commis No. 2, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited; Hon Kit, KWOK, Demi Chef de Partie, Peninsula Hotel (Felix Kitchen); Yat Ho, TAM, Commis 1, Kerry Hotel Hong Kong; Yat Chun, TAM, Chef de Partie, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort; and Lam Cheung, CHAN, Fryer No. 3, Regal Airport Hotel.
“The Young Chef Challenge was conceptualized based on industry feedback for the need of a competition for culinary industry young talents,” commented Mrs. Liz Plizga, Group Vice President for Diversified Communications. “The competition provides the perfect opportunity for them to showcase their talents while learning from industry veterans, advance their skills and gain knowledge on sustainable seafood choices.”
Evergreen Conglomerate, one of the top sustainable aquaculture producers in China, is the cash prize sponsor for the Young Chef Challenge. The winner will receive US$2000 while the 1st runner up will get a US$1000 cash prize.