European Young Chef Award 2021


The European Young Chef Award 2021 was organised and promoted by the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism (IGCAT) and Minho, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2016, and was held at Praça municipal market in Braga, on 23-24 November 2021.

Nine finalists took part in the 2021 edition representing the following regions: Catalonia (Spain), Minho (Portugal), Aarhus-Central Denmark Region (Denmark), South Aegean (Greece), Slovenia, Coimbra Region (Portugal), Menorca (Spain), Trondheim-Trøndelag (Norway) and Hauts-de-France (France).

EYCA 2021_Group photo with jury

The competition was organised on two consecutive days under the theme Innovation on Tradition, whereby finalists were asked to innovate traditional recipes from their regions by using local seasonal products.

On the first day, the young chefs gathered to attend a presentation by IGCAT President, Dr. Diane Dodd on the importance of protecting and promoting food diversity.

EYCA 2021_IGCAT Regional Chef Ambassadors

Finalists enthusiastically signed a protocol agreement to become IGCAT Regional Chef Ambassadors, thus committing to spread IGCAT’s message on the importance of food and cultural diversity and to adopt sustainable practices in their future careers.

EYCA 2021_Traditional dishes

Afterwards, they prepared and presented the chosen traditional recipes to be tasted by the jury. This first round was vital for the young chefs to share knowledge about regional gastronomies and products.

EYCA 2021_Visit to the Portuguese GenebankTo conclude the day, finalists had the chance to visit the Portuguese Genebank (BPGV) at the National Institute of Agrarian and Veterinary Research (INIAV) and to participate in a city tour of Braga, which offered them the opportunity to learn about local gastronomy and produce, and to meet each other in a relaxed environment.

On the second day, the European Young Chef Award 2021 competition took place, with finalists presenting their innovative dishes to an international jury of experts chaired by Michelin-starred chef António Loureiro, from A Cozinha restaurant in Guimarães. The jury included Dr. Diane Dodd, President of IGCAT; Iulia Dragut, IGCAT Expert and President of the Cultural Association Euro East Alternative (ACEEA); chef Svein Magnus Gjønvik, Vice-President of the Norwegian Chefs Association; chef Randie Anderson, IGCAT Expert and President of the American Culinary Federation Jamaica Chapter; and Eirini Giorgoudiou, winner of the European Young Chef Award 2019.

EYCA 2021_Jury

EYCA 2021_Innovative dish_Espen LaumannThe winner of the European Young Chef Award 2021 was Espen Laumann from Trondheim-Trøndelag, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2022, who presented the dish From Frøya to Frosta, innovating on the traditional recipe Norwegian Fishball.

Andreas Dermatis from South Aegean, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2019 won the second prize with his dish Lakani, while third prize went to Frida Jensen from Aarhus-Central Denmark Region, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2017 and her dish Just another Cabbagehead.

EYCA 2021_Winners

In the afternoon, the young chefs had the opportunity to attend a demonstration by the Nano4Food Unit of the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) and the screening of IGCAT’s Food Film Menu 2021.

On the third day, a food tour of the Minho region was organised that allowed the finalists to discover the city of Guimarães, restaurant A Cozinha by António Loureiro, the Centre for Interpretation and Promotion of the Vinho Verde in Ponte de Lima and the Hospitality school of Viana do Castelo.

EYCA 2021_Group photo_A Cozinha Gumarães
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The European Young Chef Award 2021 was organised by IGCAT and hosted by

Municipality of Braga_Logo      Minho_European Region of Gastronomy 2016