SPYCA22, A Thrilling Cooking Challenge and Glittering Awards Ceremony

Four absolutely thrilling days. Hundreds upon hundreds of guests and media guests. Competitors, mentors and support teams arriving from over 20 countries, premier TV channels, celebrity chefs, an external on-location shoot, collabs with The Food School, Park Hyatt Bangkok and Lamborghini Bangkok … this was, from the very outset, always set to be a huge and complex program …

A regional PR event and F&B competition award program to be delivered to a world-class standard!

In essence, S.Pellegrino proudly introduced the Competition and Awards Ceremony for the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Asia Regional Competition 2022-2023, the exciting global initiative created by S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy to discover and nurture brilliant professionals able to push the boundaries of gastronomy.

Ten of Asia’s best Young Chefs were competing for the chance to advance to the Grand Final, to be held in Milan in 2023. During a challenging cook-off, the chefs worked under the verbal guidance of their mentors to achieve their dishes to creative perfection.

The dishes were judged by an esteemed panel of jury members – massive stars in the world of cooking: Chef Pam Pichaya Utharntharm of Restaurant Potong, Thailand, Chef Dave Pynt, of Restaurant Burnt Ends, Singapore, Chef Daniel Calvert, of Restaurant Sézanne, Japan, Chef Vanessa Huang, of Restaurant Ephernité, Taiwan, and Chef Thitid Ton Tassanakajohn, of Restaurant Le Du, Thailand.

The results were announced at a magical Award Ceremony hosted at Park Hyatt Bangkok following the conclusion of the cooking competition on the final Sunday.

SPYCA22 PR Thailand

Meet the Winners of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition 2022-23 Regional Finals

The Wow Factor

From a top-down view, this project essentially required an agency to create and execute a PR strategy for a Cooking Competition, the SPYCA22/23. The reality, however, encapsulated what felt like several thousand layers of complexity in terms of planning, and in careful and exacting PR delivery!

Chefs competing hailed from Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Philippines and Thailand.

Therefore, Gemini was responsible for creating an engaging and magnetic international communications and event management integrated program, leveraging the incredible superstar chefs who appeared as judges, and the huge personalities (and spectacular dishes) of the Young Chefs.

The event, along with its pre- and post-event comms, needed also to communicate the societal benefit pillars which are core to S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy; that is to foster global culinary development, enhancing the young generation’s contribution through a celebration of regional culinary dynamics and mentorship by top Chefs.

There was also a keen focus on promoting equality, inclusion, equal opportunities, sustainability and reducing food waste. That was a lot of communication touchpoints, therefore, that needed to course through the veins of every element – even while the flourish and sensation of the contest was in full swing!

The panel of jury members – massive stars in the world of cooking: Chef Thitid Ton Tassanakajohn, Chef Dave Pynt, Chef Vanessa Huang, Chef Pam Pichaya Utharntharmand and Chef Daniel Calvert.

PR case study sanpellegrino SPYCA

The event brought together some amazing partners. The competition itself was to be held at The Food School Bangkok, of which the Gemini PR agency Bangkok is a friendly and ongoing partner; also, the Park Hyatt Bangkok located at Central Embassy, a terrific venue for the Sunday night awards ceremony, as well as the welcome meet the day before the big show. Gemini were also asked to bring a supercar, so through our connections we worked with Lamborghini Bangkok who enabled the winning chef to be pictured with a Lamborghini Huracan STO in Blu Nethuns.

Thailand cooking competition

Dishes from Chudapa “Joy” Chansaming from Elements Restaurant, Okura Prestige Hotel, Thailand, and Mentor Gerard Villaret.

Gemini was also tasked with helping to maintain and manage the flow of dish presentations to the jury, and balance that around real-time and pre-planned requests by media to arrange interviews mid-contest, making for a challenging and fast-moving media environment. It was also highly charged as a result of the stressful competition situation.

S.Pellegrino has always sought to connect people from around the world that share a passion for gastronomy. With the Academy, this leading F&B monolith is building a community of like-minded people, bringing together colleagues and industry personalities to inspire and educate the next generation of culinary talent. The Food School Bangkok served too as a progressive learning community that brings together three partner institutions – Alma Culinary Institute, Tsuji Culinary Institute, and Dusit Thani College – The Food School is committed to competency-based learning, including growing knowledge and skills in organic produce, food waste management, and developing the food ecosystems.

All of these key communications points had to be communicated throughout and post competition!

Winning chef Ian Goh from Restaurant NAE:UM in Singapore pictured with a Lamborghini Huracan STO in Blu Nethuns.

PR agency Lamborghini Thailand

High-performance PR Strategy by Gemini PR

Gearing up for this mammoth international spectacle was the work of several months during the leadup phase. It had a lot of moving parts, and required working in harmony with the preparatory teams at TFS and the Singaporean organiser’s local Thai team. Gemini collaborated super-closely with San Pellegrino’s regional marketing team in Singapore, having daily strategy calls with our close friends throughout SPYCA – we maintain fantastic levels of collaboration and camaraderie, especially as a result of the event being a mega success!

As well as being highly newsworthy across Asia, there was also a huge focus on F&B and gastro media for this regional PR event and F&B competition award program. We created very in-depth biographies for all of the ten competing chefs, using their entry forms to create origin stories and inspirational critiques of their dishes and themes that connected these wonderful up-and-coming stars to huge media in many countries.

There was also a considerable corporate communication element to get across as an overarching halo. We had to express, “Taking part in the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition is a unique opportunity to enter a longstanding, ambitious and visionary project, through which S.Pellegrino contributes to the evolution not only of the culinary community, but of society as a whole.”

This had to ring true throughout, as it’s with this competition that S.Pellegrino identifies and educates the talents who will form the next generation of young chefs, and citizens of the world.

The S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition 2022/23 will offer chefs the opportunity to start an inspiring and educational journey, gaining global visibility and significant professional prestige during the entire selection process that will culminate in the Grand Finale event planned for 2023. Gemini PR is so proud to have supported the Asia juncture of this incredible global culinary journey.

San Pellegrino Young Chef Academy

Member of the Jury Chef Pam Pichaya Utharntharm of Restaurant Potong, Thailand.

Killer Cuisine, Killer Results!

The Cooking Competition and Awards Ceremony Cocktail Occasion attracted over 46 top-tier media organisations, including all of the top TV stations in Thailand. The program had generated over 57 articles in top-tier news and F&B publications immediately following the event, and was published in the largest news outlets in Japan and Korea, too.

Over 9.6 million Baht in media value, created in the week straight after the event, achieved a total circulation of over 242M people.

And it was still capturing value and new media interview opportunities for the chefs and brand up to a month after the SPYCA22/23!

Contact Team GEM today to get this incredible coverage for your business, brand, product, launch, event or awards program. Reach out and connect here.

Award Ceremony and Cocktail Night Event hold at Park Hyatt @Central Embassy, Thailand.

PR agency award ceremony event

The full roster of Young Chefs who were competing in the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition 2022 Asia Regional Final (and their Mentors) were:

1. Xu Yu Chan from Labyrinth in Singapore, and Mentor Li Guang Han
2. Yu Chuan Cheng from Mandarin Oriental in Taipei, and Mentor Jimmy Lin of JL Studio
3. Hyojeong Kim from L’Amant Secret in Korea, and Mentor Jongwon Son
4. Yi Chung Chiu from Xiang Se in Taiwan, and Mentor Chih-Huai Tseng of Lopfait Restaurant
5. Ian Goh from Restaurant NAE:UM in Singapore, and Mentor Louis Han
6. Jiwoo Lee from Eatanic Garden in Korea, and Mentor Taeho Lee
7. William Yee from MOONBOW in Singapore, and Mentor Darren Chua
8. Shintaro Ohiwa from Difference in Japan, and Mentor Kazuki Idaka
9. Aaron Shiu from La Spezia in Philippines, and Mentor Chele Gonzalez
10. Chudapa “Joy” Chansaming from Elements Restaurant, Okura Prestige Hotel in Thailand, and Mentor Gerard Villaret

Food and beverage public relations

Winning dishes from Ian Goh from Restaurant NAE:UM in Singapore, and Mentor Louis Han.

Taking part in the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition is a unique opportunity to enter a longstanding, ambitious and visionary project, through which S.Pellegrino contributes to the evolution not only of the culinary community, but of society as a whole.

Chefs & Dishes, Judges, Contest and Awards Ceremony Full Photo Set: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1RjJy6rTqdaDq1QwZ12cf_Y47sg54xCW4?usp=sharing

To discover more about the future of the initiative please visit: www.sanpellegrinoyoungchefacademy.com

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