EYCA 2023_Sander Mollerup

Sander Mollerup, Central Denmark’s finalist to the EYCA 2023

“I find the inspiration for my dishes when I come home to my region, and visit my childhood favourite places, especially the coast,” affirms Sander Mollerup, the finalist who will represent Central Denmark, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2017 at the 7th European Young Chef Award.

20-year-old Sander Mollerup is a chef student at Restaurant JA in Holstebro, Denmark. His ambition is to first work in the best restaurants and learn from the best chefs, and then open his own gourmet restaurant.

Sander chose to become a chef because he finds it fun and exciting to combine flavours and textures. He has always had a great interest in food, especially since when, at an early age, he used to help milking cows in a farm.

“My goal at the European Young Chef Award is to elevate my cooking and get inspired by networking with other young chefs.”

Sander is very active person who, in his spare time, likes running, training and playing golf.

At the European Young Chef Award 2023, he will present his innovative interpretation of the traditional dish Smørrebrød with Bakskuld. Smørrebrød is an open-faced sandwich and a common lunch dish, beloved all over Denmark, where it is served in various forms and with different toppings. In Sander’s region smørrebrød is usually served with Bakskuld on top, a salted, dried, and smoked common dab. In the old times, fishermen used to hang fish in the sails to get it dried by the salty coastal wind. In this way, the fish could be preserved for the long and poor winters, when they could not go out to sea.

About IGCAT’s European Young Chef Award

The European Young Chef Award is an annual competition organised by the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Art and Tourism (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 7th edition of the European Young Chef Award is organised and promoted by IGCAT and hosted by Hauts-de-France, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2023. The competition will be held at the Lycée Hôtelier Le Touquet on 20-24 November 2023 and is supported by Hauts-de-France 2023 consortium members: Chambre d’Agriculture Hauts de France; CCI Hauts de France; Chambre des Métiers et de l’Artisanat Hauts de France; Hauts de France Tourisme; Plateforme des Organisme du Tourisme; UMIH Union des Métiers et des Industrie de l’Hôtellerie; UniLaSalle; Programme Investissement Avenir; Caisse des dépôts; GIP Forinval Amiens; Région Académique Hauts de France; and Région Hauts de France.

About the World/European Regions of Gastronomy

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.