Chef Gaetano Verde_Website_540x370

Chef Gaetano Verde from Sicily in the jury of the EYCA 2022

Nominated in the top 10 of the 2022 TheFork Awards (Italy), chef Gaetano Verde will form part of the jury for the 6th European Young Chef Award, to be held in Trondheim (Norway) on 10-13 November 2022.

Gaetano has recently become Executive Chef of Charleston in Palermo, a nationally and internationally renowned restaurant that has been an iconic reference for Sicilian and Italian cuisine for over 50 years now.

A self-taught chef, Gaetano started his cooking journey among the traditional markets of his hometown Palermo, strongly influenced by the smells, flavours and sounds of Sicilian gastronomy.

With the aim to increase his professional skills, he started travelling at a very young age to explore different realities and acquire new knowledge. After a first stop at 2-Michelin-starred Taverna Estia in Naples, he moved first to London to work at Ledbury restaurant, and then to Paris, where he had the opportunity to learn from masters of French cuisine such as Robuchon and Pacaud.

It is in the international environment of Paris and thanks to his working experience at the Ritz, that he developed the constant search for technical perfection and attention for the quality of raw materials that characterise his cuisine.

In 2022, after attending a master programme in Leadership and Business in Hospitality 2.0 at Mad Academy (Copenhagen), Gaetano decided to move back to Palermo and take on the ambitious task of projecting Charleston restaurant into the future.

As a recommendation to the finalists of the European Young Chef Award 2022, he highlighted: “As chefs, it is crucial that you give a lot of attention to the raw ingredients by searching for breeders, fishermen, farmers, cheesemakers who have made quality their top priority.”

Something that he applies daily in his work, striving to create “a path in between technique and knowledge, aiming to offer a taste of a true Sicilian experience, resulting from the symbiosis between art and craftsmanship. An instinctual cuisine where rigour and technique are the essential bases to have fun and leave room for improvisation in the kitchen” concludes Gaetano.

About IGCAT’s European Young Chef Award

The European Young Chef Award is an annual competition organised by IGCAT that gathers young culinary talents from the awarded and candidate European Regions of Gastronomy. Selected each year through local contests, finalists to the European Young Chef Award compete by innovating traditional recipes from their regions using local ingredients.

The 6th edition of the European Young Chef Award is organised and promoted by the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Art and Tourism (IGCAT) and hosted by the Trondheim-Trøndelag, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2022. The competition will be held at Strinda High School in Trondheim on 11-12 November 2022, with the support of Trondheim Municipality, Trøndelag County Authority, and Innovation Norway.

About the World Regions of Gastronomy

Candidate and awarded World/European Regions of Gastronomy, guided by IGCAT, are working together to strengthen food security through the celebration of distinctive food cultures; create employment by stimulating creativity and gastronomic innovation; nourish children and adults through culinary and cultural education; driving environmental sustainability in tourism, hospitality and agricultural sectors; supporting balance and sustainable tourism practices; highlighting and supporting expertise from within rural and urban communities, creating connections and sharing good practices; and contributing to community health and well-being.


IGCAT aims to empower local communities by raising awareness of the importance of protecting and promoting distinct regional food, culture, arts and natural assets as part of sustainable and balanced tourism and development strategies. This is essential to safeguarding our planet, health, wellness and local economies.

IGCAT is a non-profit institute established in 2012, working with regional stakeholder consortiums in the fields of gastronomy, culture, arts and tourism. It counts on the expertise of a worldwide network of experts and works in partnership with specialised intergovernmental organisations.

IGCAT founded the World/European Region of Gastronomy Award and is the official secretariat for the World/European Regions of Gastronomy Platforms. Furthermore, the Institute has developed the European Young Chef Award, the World Food Gift Challenge, the Top Websites for Foodie Travelers Award and the international Food Film Menu.