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Chef of the Year: Competition and think tank

1 Oct 2020

In the year 2020, the November stands for culinary skills and enjoyment: the first pre-final of the Chef of the Year competition is being staged in Leipzig on 16 November. Here and in the course of two further events (in the spring and summer of 2021), the six finalists will be selected, who will then compete against each other in the grand finale at Anuga 2021. The participants, talented young chefs from Germany, Austria, the South Tyrol and Switzerland, have to master challenging tasks to make their dream come true: Namely to win the coveted title, which alongside €10,000 in prize-money also promises recognition and mass media attention.

As a talent melting pot and think tank, the format Chef of the Year enriches the entire industry. Paula Teichert from Chef of the Year: "We have discovered over 35 stars over the course of the past ten years through our competition. As well as many great food service concepts with which our participants have successfully established themselves."

New concepts for the food service world

All cooks are assembled on stage and throw their toques into the air. The winners are holding a big check.

In Leipzig in addition to the culinary competition, the focus also lies on the themes community, women's power and sustainability. Top speakers such as the restaurant critic Wolfgang Fassbender and Sebastian Frank, proprietor and chef de cuisine at HÓRVATH in Berlin (and Chef of the Year 2011) will serve creative impulses and exclusive insights. Workshops and product presentations and the relaying of hygiene standards round off the programme.

Paula Teichert: "Particularly in the current times, the aim of our event is to present new solutions and promote the exchange." An extensive hygiene concept has been drawn up, several aspects of the event have been revised. "The emphasis is quite clearly to organise an event that is beneficial and safe for all participants, partners and guests," is how Teichert described their own objectives. We are very much looking forward to bringing the industry together again. Together we will strive to answer the current hot issues of the food service sector: What should one learn from these times and how can things continue?"

An interview with Chef of the Year 2019, Dominik Sato

An interview with Chef of the Year 2019, Dominik Sato

In 2019, the title of Chef of the Year went to Dominik Sato. In the interview, the Swiss sous-chef at the Congress Hotel Seepark, talked about his winning menu, the highlights of the competition and his very personal cooking style.

Mr Sato, you asserted yourself last year against 400 participants and claimed the time Chef of the Year. What were your tactics?

On the one hand, I had decided to cook exciting, very tasty dishes. To achieve this the preparation of the dishes had to run smoothly, which meant a lot of practice. On the other hand it was important to stay calm during the competition.

What was your winning menu?

There were pre-stipulated obligatory components for each of the courses. For the starter, I prepared a kind of salad from the two components mushrooms and pumpkin. On the other hand, for the main course we had to prepare a dish using a whole rabbit. I opted for baby broccoli, aubergines and parsley. In the last round I transformed a curd cheese soufflé and a mousse with blackberries, hazelnuts and lemon into a dessert.

What does the distinction Chef of the Year mean to you? And apart from your victory what was the highlight of the competition for you?

The distinction means a great deal to me. The competition was a huge challenge and I am very proud that I was able to win the competition together with my assistant, Fabian Aebi. Alongside the victory, the exchange with colleagues as well as the atmosphere and the mood at Anuga were the special highlights.

How would you describe your style of cooking?

My style is light, modern and cosmopolitan. Furthermore, my cuisine is characterised by Japanese influences.

COVID-19 had devastating effects on the food service sector. How did you experience this time?

On a positive note, I was able to spend a lot of time with my wife and my son. However, the operations at the Congress Hotel Seepark had to be shut down for a longer period of time, which among others meant that we were not able to offer any seminars there.

Is there an event that you are particularly looking forward to this year?

I am already really looking forward to the first pre-final of Chef of the Year in Leipzig!

Thank you for the interview, Dominik Sato!

Who is going to succeed Dominik Sato and become the new Chef of the Year? The final is one of the highlights of Anuga 2021. It will take place on the Culinary Stage , which presents a wide range of inspiration and ideas in the form of stage shows, workshops, panel discussions and live cooking. In addition to the legendary kitchen party of the freshly appointed Chef of the Year, above all the DEHOGA Food Service Marketplace is the industry meeting point - as a forum for new concepts and valuable networking.