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Rye Chef to Represent UK on Global Stage at S.Pellegrino Competition in Milan

Rye-based chef, Marcus Clayton, will be representing the UK at the prestigious S. Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition Grand Finale, this week announced to take place in Milan on the 4th and 5th of October.

The event identifies and recognises the best young chefs in the world and celebrates the talents that will lead the evolution of the gastronomic sector.
Marcus emerged in the competition for his brilliant talent, beating nine other chefs at the UK final last year, and rising to the top of thousands of applicants around the world.

The 26-year-old chef lives in Rye, East Sussex, and works at Hide and fox, in Hythe but will be starting a new role at the Vanderlyle restaurant in Cambridge in the coming weeks. Before the big move, vandlyle restaurant is on the move down to Hastings, where Marcus and Alex rushmer, will be doing a series of pop ups over two weeks cooking a vegetable led menu. He has been working in kitchens since he was just 14 and went to Sussex Coast College.

At UK competition final, which took place at CORD in London, Marcus won over the renowned jury, including Sat Bains and Claude Bosi, with his signature dish, Celeriac, Apple and Mushroom. It’s a dish he’s been perfecting over the years and one he chose to put forward to show how delicious vegetables can be.

Marcus Clayton, (26), comments: “It feels very surreal representing the UK at the grand finale. It’s been a great experience so far, preparing for the competition by working closely with Lisa Goodwin-Allen on my signature dish ahead of the next stage in Milan.”

To help Marcus on his journey to the Grand Finale in Milan, he has been assigned Michelin-starred chef, Lisa-Goodwin Allen, as a mentor who has been providing him with guidance on how to improve his signature dish and support him in his preparation for the international finals.

Stefano Bolognese, San Pellegrino International Business Unit Director, said: “We launched the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Competition in 2015 to nurture the future of gastronomy by discovering young talents from all over the world. The number of applicants for this fifth edition alone – over 4,000 globally – has confirmed the value of the project. The competition is also a pathway to the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy, a global community – more than 2,000 talented chefs strong – with the aim to engage chefs through a series of activities designed to inspire, connect and educate. The Grand Finale, held in October, is a final step and a key moment in our discovery process. Sanpellegrino wishes good luck to all the finalists.”

Those competing for the grand prize will have the opportunity to cook their signature dishes again, this time in front of a grand jury composed of seven giants of international gastronomy: Eneko Atxa, Riccardo Camanini, Hélène Darroze, Vicky Lau, Pía León, Julien Royer and Nancy Silverton. The jurors will evaluate the finalists based on three golden rules: technical ability, creativity and personal belief, and the candidates’ potential to create positive change in society through food. On their way to the Grand Finale, the young chefs will continue to work closely with their respective mentors to perfect their recipes.