All chefs around the World
Jure Tomic - Winner
Jure Tomic was born in 1981 in Brežice (Slovenia) and it's a famous chef and sommelier in Slovenia. Upon finishing his elementary education, he went to school in Maribor, where he studied Nutritional Sciences. With his studies concluded, he went full time into gastronomy and, having worked in a number of small restaurants, he opened Ošterija Debeluh in Brežice, part of the Jeunes Restaurateurs d'Europe network.
“Since I was a child, I have had a passion for cooking and anything to do with cooking inspires me: new products, new styles, new techniques and, of course, design and innovation”.
Mark Delia - Finalist
Mark was born in Malta 34 years ago but has been living in Seville in Spain since 2003. His passion for cooking began when he was a child, and he has dedicated all his working career to cooking. He worked in Italian Restaurants and Hotels in Malta before deciding to widen his experience abroad, so he moved first to London, where he worked in 5 star hotels and restaurants managed by Michelin-starred chefs, and then to Spain. Learning about Spanish gastronomy and cooking reinforced his passion for Italian cuisine, which led him to opening a new, modern Italian restaurant with the company he worked for. He currently heads the Identification & Development Department and runs one of Casa Robles Italian Restaurants. Part of his work involves travelling around Europe to discover new products. He has won important prizes in international festival and exhibitions.
Yoshitaka Miyamoto - Finalist
Yoshitaka chose to work in Italian cuisine in order to follow in the footsteps of his brother Munetaka, who became a chef before him. Born in 1974, he began his training at a famous Tokyo restaurant, and in 1999 decided to leave for Italy. He worked in Italy for seven years, particularly in the north of the Trentino Alto Adige region. After this formative experience, Yoshitaka returned to Japan, and in 2008, along with his brother opened his restaurant ICARUS, which in 2011 received the recognition of a Michelin star.
Umberto Massimo Gorizia - Finalist
Umberto began working in restaurants while still at hotel school. In 1998 he moved from Castellana Grotte (Bari) to South Tyrol and then to Luxembourg. Upon his return to Italy he began working at the Il Colombaio restaurant, and a year after his return, he received a Michelin Star. He returned to Castellana at the Relais & Le Jardin, and in 2004 was given the "Young Chef" award by Dolce Guida. In 2007 he returned to Il Colombaio, his professional growth driven by his many collaborations, such as joining CHIC - Charming Italian Chef - and working actively with Slow Food. In 2012 he undertook a new project which took him to the Grand Hotel Terme in Castrocaro. Next he decided to go to Germany to run the Fidelio restaurant in the Schloss Elmau in Bavaria, an experience whose gratifications included receiving 15 Gault Millau points and organizing the Heads of State Summit in 2015.
Born in 1977, he has always worked as a chef. After working in important hotels, including the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul, in 2001 he began to work at Istanbul Doors as Executive Chef. He founded a catering and consultancy company with the aim of providing assistance to various five-star hotels and restaurants.
In 2006, he began to work for the Istanbul Doors Restaurant Group again, this time as kitchen director, and was head of of food & kitchen operations.
Since 2011 he has been Kitchen Coordinator for the Big Chefs Restaurant Group, where he manages over 33 kitchens.
Representing Turkey, he has won important prizes in national and international competitions.
Iowa native, Kathleen Blake, started cooking at an early age in her grandmother’s kitchen where she helped prepare Sunday suppers for her large extended family.
After working in several restaurants, Blake landed at Square One, where her mentor, Joyce Goldstein, taught her the importance of focusing on quality ingredients, prepared simply.
In 2001, Blake accepted the position as Sous Chef at Restaurant Nora, in Washington DC, the first certified organic restaurant in the US. She was quickly promoted to Chef de Cuisine.
In 2003, Blake was recruited as Chef de Cuisine, opening Melissa Kelly’s Primo in Orlando at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes. She began working with local farmers, organizing a cooperative that eventually grew to support many of the restaurants in Orlando. Together with her husband, William Blake built and maintained the organic garden at Primo Orlando until 2011. As strong life and business partners, the couple went out on their own to open Orlando’s favorite restaurant, in the Church St Historical District, The Rusty Spoon. Earning 7 Silver Spoon awards in 2014 after being open only 3 years, The Rusty Spoon was voted the ‘best farm to table,’ hands down.
Blake is also a 2013, 2015 and 2016 James Beard Award Nominee, Best Chef South, 2013 Best Chefs America, South, and Nominated for both Golden Whisk and Community Service Awards by WCR-Women Chefs & Restaurateurs.
Born in Milan in 1974, he is an executive chef with more than 25 years of experience in the preparation but also in the creation of menus, with culture, leadership and organizational skills being his distinguishing traits.
He began his career as a comme de cousine with renowned restaurateur Tetti Loreno. Years spent working in various restaurants in Milan (1991- 1996) provided professional growth and led him to discover international cuisine. He became chef at the Galleria Meravigli, where he created his first menu. In 1997 he moved to Paris to Il Cortile to work with one of Alain Ducasse's chefs. In 2001 he moved to Ankara to become executive chef of three restaurants and later to the three-starred Ramada Plaza hotel.
Today he is the owner and chef of the Peperoncino in Ankara, and often participates in in gastronomic conferences around the world and television programs dedicated to cookery.
He won the 2015 Academia Barilla Pasta World Championship and works with the Academia Barilla Master Chef.
Pietro has been active for years in the world of restaurants, and took his first steps at the chef school in Gothenburg. In 1995 he opened his first restaurant, followed only four years later by the opening of the famous The Italian Kitchen. In the early 2000s he devoted himself to writing two cookbooks, Pietros Kök and Pietros Recept. In 2011 he became part of the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, an international gastronomic association. Between 2006 and 2013 his restaurant entered The White Guide - the guide to the best restaurants in the Nordic countries – and in the same period he was also recommended by Sweden's Best Table and the Michelin guide.
Marina Gasi was born in 1983 in Pula in Istria (Croatia) and grew up in a kitchen: that of her parents' restaurant.
After the death of her father in1992, the family restaurant closed. Marina never thought it would reopen, but in 2011, thanks to an idea of her husband, it did. Marina began to cook and develop the self-taught expertise which she says makes her an "atypical" chef. His philosophy is as simple as it is generous: make people feel happy and comfortable.
Her advice to young chefs is to be totally passionate and to create new things while retaining personal character.
Her restaurant serves only fish and seafood, but always with a special twist to surprise her customers.
Marina’s restaurant features in all the best guides for gourmets in the Alpe Adria Region, including the Gault Millau, Le Guide De L´Espresso and the JRE.
Giorgio began working as a chef in various hotel facilities and restaurants around Italy immediately after finishing his studies in Sicily. He then decided to go abroad to consolidate his professional experience there. He lived and worked for several years in Edinburgh where, however, he did not feel completely free to express his creativity, sensing that the Italian cuisine there was too strongly influenced by Celtic culture to retain its authenticity. In 2002 he arrived at the Casa Bini restaurant in Paris, which has always served genuine Italian cuisine. Giorgio still works at the Casa Bini, and is now head of the kitchen and captain of a young, passionate team.
Always attentive to developing gastronomic trends, he loves to combine tradition and innovation in the constant creation of new dishes, respecting the seasonality of the ingredients he carefully selects and imports from small Italian producers.
Melissa Kelly is the Executive Chef and proprietor of Primo, a restaurant in Rockland, Maine. She is the 2013 James Beard Foundation Award winner of the American Express Best Chef: Northeast Award. She also received this award in 1999, making her the first 2 time winner of the same award.
Chef Kelly grew up on Long Island. Her earliest cooking lessons took place in her Italian grandmother's kitchen. The menu at Primo changes every day to insure that the highest quality ingredients are being served. Melissa and her Partner Price Kushner have spent the last 13 years expanding the farm situated the on Primo’s 4.5 acres. Fresh and local ingredients are key to Primo’s success. Melissa describes the availability 7 of ingredients fresh from the Primo farm as “the dream way to cook.” Melissa also takes pride in the lessons that she is able to impart to young cooks about where food comes from and the true farm to table experience that Primo offers. In 2003, she partnered with J.W. Marriot to open a 2nd Primo location in Orlando, Florida and since then a 3rd in Tucson, Arizona both based on the same farm to table philosophy.
Giovanni was born in Sardinia and, above all, was born to cook.
He started his career in Italy very young and in 1992, at the age of just twenty, he moved to Australia. In his restaurant, Pilu at Freshwater, he creates refined, innovative menus, mixing authentic products imported from Sardinia with local products.
Already only one year, the "Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide" defined Pilu 'Best New Restaurant' and since then has received two Chef Hats every year. Along with a group of Sydney Italian restaurateurs, he established the Council of Italian Restaurants in Australia (CIRA), an association which aims to safeguard and promote the values of Italian cuisine, and this year, he became President.
Giovanni's first book - A Sardinian Cookbook - was the only Australian cookery book to appear among the finalists of the prestigious IACP Cookbook Awards in 2013, and won the People's Choice Award. Giovanni recently opened Pilu in Akuna Bay.
Born in 1986, he carries with him all the flavours of Mediterranean cuisine.
Though the first images and the smells imprinted on his memory were the traditional colours and flavours of Greece, as a child he had the good fortune to come in contact with Italian food culture thanks to his aunt, while -through his grandmother's recipes- he discovered traditional cuisine of the Aegean Sea.
His training took him to the DCT Hotel and Management School in Switzerland, majoring in European Gourmet Cuisine. His career continued at Crete in Porto Elounda, at Lansdowne Place in Brighton, and finally at Nixon restaurant in Athens where he became Executive Chef. Currently, summers find him as a Consulting Chef at Nixon on the Beach, at Antiparos island.
A restless spirit, he writes and co-owns food blog maintanos.com and promotes his "culinary principles" in various TV shows.
Born in Modena in 1985, Luca Torricelli studied at the Serramazzoni hotel school in the years when the institution was receiving the most prestigious European awards.
Passionate about and dedicated to cooking, he honed his skills in Michelin star restaurants in Italy and abroad, before arriving at the Fini restaurant in Modena.
In 2010 he took up the challenge and moved to Lugano Breganzona to successfully manage the kitchen of the L'Argentino restaurant. Winner of the 2014 Pasta World Championship, in 2016 he accepted a new challenge at the Carrà Restaurant in Ascona. Luca is young and resolute and always looking for new challenges to satisfy the palates of the entire world.
Chef Simone Villa comes from Parma, and his career and passion for cooking moved to the next level when he began working at the Cavallino Bianco alongside Michelin star chef Gualtiero Marchesi (considered the inventor of modern Italian cuisine). He continued his studies at the Ritz Hotel in London and at the Peccati di Gola restaurant in Barcelona, where he was executive chef. He then moved to Wolfsburg in Germany where, as executive chef at the Casa Antigue restaurant, he worked on the creation of the menu and the direction of the kitchen. Next he became head of the Italian Marco Polo restaurant at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Yangzhou (China). He is now Group Executive Chef for the Moon's Steakhouse restaurant in Shanghai.
Jacky was born in 1982 in Shanghai where his discovery of Italian cuisine began when he began working in an Italian restaurant in 2000. Driven by his passion and love of quality, year by year and trip after trip (in 2006 visiting Turin, Florence and Naples), he also discovered Italy's wines.
In January 2011, he opened the Top Chef restaurant in Shanghai. In 2013 he moved to Carlo Cracco's two Michelin star restaurant, and in February 2014 opened Primo, his own Italian restaurant. The ICS television channel and the Morning Post newspaper have spotlighted the food and wine pairings Primo offers. He attended the first Vinitaly International Academy masterclass held by Lingzi He in Shanghai.
His dreams include coming to Verona to follow Ian D'Agata's lessons and to see OperaWine and Vinitaly.
He started cooking when he was a child, helping his father in his Japanese Restaurant in Tokyo. When he finished university, he moved to Italy to learn about Italian food culture and spent time cooking in Tuscany, Sardinia and Sorrento, where he worked at the two-Michelin-starred Don Alfonso 1890.
After moving to London, he worked with Gordon Ramsay at his three Michelin star restaurant. This was followed by three years in one of the most successful London restaurant groups, Rex Restaurants where he worked with Francesco Mazzei. His next challenge was opening Tempo in Mayfair, a successful restaurant which earned excellent reviews and 2 AA rosettes. In 2012 he won the World Pasta Championship at Academia Barilla in Parma. 3 years ago, he moved to Tokyo to work with Tysons & Co as Executive head chef. He is currently setting up his own consultancy, offering expertise in concept and menu development, kitchen design staff training and events.