Eirini Giorgoudiou from South Aegean, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2019 has been announced today European Young Chef for 2019. With her dish 12 Elements she won the hearts of the international jury chaired by acclaimed Greek Chef Argiro Barbarigou who is also Ambassador for South-Aegean, European Region of Gastronomy 2019.
She innovated the traditional recipe Okras with Grouper using exclusively local ingredients from the twelve islands of the Dodecanese and transforming a very simple traditional plate by adding a unique explosion of flavours and textures.
The jury especially appreciated the extensive level of innovation, the storytelling and the connection of the dish to the region. The surprising taste was also an important element in the decision.
Argiro Barbarigou congratulated all participants and admitted that the jury had a hard decision to take. She highlighted that “the Young Chefs surprised the jury beyond any expectation. It has been impressive how they managed to present something innovative starting from their own roots.” She also stressed how the European Young Chef Award initiative celebrates Europe’s gastronomic diversity and that finalists are all winners.
The European Young Chef Award 2019 was held at Rodos Palace Hotel in Rhodes and gathered finalists from different European regions:
Catalonia, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2016
Minho, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2016
Aarhus-Central Denmark Region, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2017
North Brabant, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2018
Sibiu, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2019
South Aegean, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2019
Slovenia, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2021
Coimbra, European Region of Gastronomy 2021
Menorca, European Region of Gastronomy candidate region 2022
Jure Dretnik from Slovenia, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2021 won the second prize with his dish Lunch of Mowers, while third prize went to Hans Kjellsson from Aarhus-Central Denmark Region, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2017 and his dish The Taste of Home.
The European Young Chef Award aims to:
Promote innovations on traditional cuisine
Local food cultures are an important source of innovation. Traditions developed over centuries form the vital ‘DNA’ of food cultures and regional gastronomy as well as local knowledge is therefore an important potential source of innovative products and experiences.
Highlight sustainable food cultures
Sustainable local, regional and global food systems are important for all our futures. The European Young Chef Award therefore aims to stimulate debate about sustainable food and gastronomy practices, production and consumption.
Create future ambassadors for local food products
Local food products are often unique to the territory from which they come. Likewise, regional culture creates distinctions that underline the added-value of local products. By giving visibility to emerging chefs that support local products, it is hoped to contribute to a more sustainable and better quality of food experiences.