An Oakville chef won has won a prestigious competition in New York City.
25-year-old Rafael Covarrubias won the North American San Pellegrino Young Chef Competition on Tuesday, which celebrates the gastronomy.
The executive chef at Hexagon Restaurant and 7 Enoteca clinched the contest with his winning dish: Mole Spiced Muscovy Duck, Preserved Prune and Winter Roots–reflecting his background as a Mexican in Canada.
“The inspiration for my dish emerges from my strong belief that people around the world come together through the sharing of food,” said Covarrubias. “The dish is based on the fusion between my Mexican roots and my experience as a newcomer to Canada.”
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“As an immigrant, I see how cultures can work together to create food that allows people to find similarities in one another.”
Joining winner Covarrubias was runner-up, Marvin Palomo, 26, chef de cuisine at 7 Enoteca who picked up the “Fine Dining Food Lovers Food for Thought Award”.
Palomo presented a dish called “Dungeness Crab Chawanmushi”, also a celebration of his roots.
“As a Filipino immigrant who grew up in an urban melting pot with a rich and diverse culture like the city of Toronto, I wanted this dish to reflect who I am as a cook,” said Palomo. “I want this dish to represent who I was as a child to the progression and journey I made as a young cook to the chef I am today by highlighting Canadian ingredients.”
10 young chefs were selected from candidates across Canada, the United States, and Mexico to compete for the North American title in New York City.
Each chef presented their signature dish to the panel of esteemed judges, which included Toronto’s Rob Gentile of Buca Restaurant in Toronto.
As winner and runner-up, both Covarrubias and Palomo will travel to Milan in May 2020 to represent North America in the global competition for San Pellegrino Best Young Chef.
(Photo Credit: S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water)