20. November 2023

Nelson Freitas is the winner of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy 2022-23uelle

We congratulate Nelson Freitas, the young chef from the Fifty Seconds restaurant in Lisbon, on winning the prestigious S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition 2022-23. Freitas represented the Iberian Peninsula and impressed the top-class jury – consisting of world-class chefs such as Riccardo Camanini, Hélène Darroze, Vicky Lau, Pía León and Nancy Silverton – with his unusual creation: crispy red mullet with sea urchin and homemade black garlic. The dish was praised for its intensity, creativity and perfect balance.

In his thoughts after the win, Freitas spoke with pride about having cooked for a panel of some of the best chefs in the world. When asked what he thought had impressed the jury so much, he replied: “Tradition, taste… Home.”

Freitas gave a special thank you to his mentor Filipe Carvalho, the Executive Chef at Fifty Seconds. “We’ve been working together day in, day out for four years, so it was easier to get my ideas across. With his advice, I was able to create an impressive dish.”

Freitas beat off stiff competition, including Camille Saint-M’leux from France and Chef Ian Goh, who represented Asia. Freitas sees collaboration as the key to the future of gastronomy: “We share everything: recipes, ingredients, knowledge. That’s the future: ‘sharing’,” says Freitas.

The award ceremony took place in the Pirelli Hangar Bicocca art space in Milan and was introduced by an inspiring speech by Massimo Bottura on the subject of sustainability. Bottura emphasized the importance of collaboration and networking to create a sustainable future and encouraged all chefs to act as “guardians of the planet”.

(Source: San Pellegrino Young Chef Academy)