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Minho selects finalist for the European Young Chef Award 2019

“I chose the sarrabulho because I remember the evenings with my family, the sharing and the hours we spent around the table” claimed Rui Pedro Meira, the young chef who will represent Minho, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2016 at the 4th edition of the European Young Chef Award, to be held in South Aegean, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2019, on 22-24 October 2019.

19-year-old student at the Hospitality and Tourism School of Viana do Castelo, Rui Pedro Meira is the winner of 2019 Minho Young Chef Awards (MYCA) that took place on 2-3 May at the AESAcademy of Vila Nova de Famalicão. His dish Mantença do lar do Minhoto (Keeping Minho’s home) surprised the jury with a successful combination of tradition and innovation, and a skillful use of local ingredients from Minho, such as bísaro pork and sarrabulho rice.

“Rui Pedro was a competitor who stood out. He bet on tradition, added originality to it, without distorting the concept. It’s a very minhoto dish” reported Michelin-starred chef and chair of the jury, António Loureiro.

MYCA jury panel included IGCAT Expert and member of the Confraternity of Gastronomists of Minho, Carlos Fernandes and Beatriz Costa, Minho’s finalist to the European Young Chef Award 2018.

In the coming months, Rui will keep training and working to further improve his dish in view of the European final, which he sees as “a unique opportunity to learn, see the culinary culture of other countries and share knowledge.”

The Minho Young Chef Awards featured in Portuguese national television channel TVI (Portuguese).

The European Young Chef Award is a competition organised and promoted by the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Art and Tourism (IGCAT) in collaboration with culinary arts institutions in the Regions of Gastronomy.

The European Young Chef Award gathers finalists of regional contests from around Europe to present and exchange knowledge about traditional dishes and local food products from their regions and then compete proposing their innovative reinterpretation of traditional recipes, judged by star chefs and international experts.

About the European Region of Gastronomy

Candidate and awarded Regions of Gastronomy from Europe, guided by IGCAT, are working together to raise awareness about the importance of their cultural and food uniqueness and share the long-term aim to: promote a better quality of life in European regions; highlight distinctive food cultures; educate for better health and sustainability; nurture creativity; improve tourism standards; and stimulate gastronomic innovation.


IGCAT aims to empower local communities by raising awareness of the importance to safeguard and promote distinct food, culture, arts and sustainable tourism assets. This is essential to balance against globalised food trends that are impacting on our planet, health 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 provides the Region of Gastronomy Award and is the official secretariat for the European Region of Gastronomy Platform. Furthermore, the Institute has developed the European Young Chef Award the Local Food Gift Challenge, the Top Visitor Experience and the Food Film Menu.