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Jerome Calayag, Winner of the San Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition in 2021

Member of the Swedish National Culinary Team

By: Rachel Hansen, Stockholm, Sweden

Hi Jerome, our heartfelt congratulations for winning the award. Please tell us about yourself. How did you become a chef?

I knew I wanted to be one when I turned 14. My grandmother and father love to cook and they were very good.

You won the San Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition 2021 with your signature dish “Humble Vegetable”. Have you always specialized in vegetarian dishes?

Not always, but I have done so for several years now.

Tell us about your experience during the competition. How did you feel?

Well, it was awesome. Applying for the competition was one of the best decisions I have ever made so far.

What prizes did you receive?

The experience itself was very rewarding, the networking that followed, the growth and of course traveling around the world.

Which restaurant in Stockholm do you work at now?

I work part-time at Restaurant Portal. I also do events, guestings and caterings as my own personal business.

What does it take to find inspiration in the kitchen? How do you stay so creative?

Passion and being open-minded to all ideas. Hard question, but I just keep on testing new ideas, and some of them lead to another. 

Can you name three of your favourite Filipino dishes or ingredients?

Calamansi, kangkong and mangoes.

Can you name three of your favourite Swedish dishes or ingredients?

Carrots, Jerusalem artichokes and all types of onions.

What do you do in your spare time?

I play basketball and relax.

Can you name one or more chefs that you look up to as your role model?

David Ljungqvist (of Portal Restaurant in Stockholm).

Do you have any social media pages you want our readers to follow?



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