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Twenty of the world's best young chefs tell us their go-to local spots

By
Will Gleason
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Earlier this year, twenty of the best young chefs in the world convened in Milan for the 2016 S. Pellegrino Young Chef competition. Over the course of two days, the chefs—all under the age of 30—prepared their signature dishes for seven culinary icons: David Higgs, Carlo Cracco, Gaggan Anand, Mauro Colagreco, Wylie Dufresne, Elena Arzak and Roberta Sudbrack.

One of the great things about bringing together so much international talent in one room was the interaction and ideas-sharing between the contestants.

“I’ve been surprised on many levels,” said Mitch Lienhard, the United States representative and ultimate winner of this year's competition. “I thought there was going to be a lot more of a competitive attitude with everybody. It was nice to see everyone getting along and being really friendly.”

Since we love discovering the favorite local places of people from all over the world, we decided to take advantage of some downtime between meal prep to quiz the competitors on their go-to local spots.

George Kataras

Lives in London
“I like Brixton Market. It’s very cool. It’s a food market with a lot of food from different nationalities. There are many small restaurants there doing very interesting street food.” 

Anne-Sophie Taurines

Lives in Verbier, Switzerland
“I travel a lot. My city is a small city, but nearby I like to go to Chalet d’Adrien, it is very amazing.”

Alessandro Salvatore Rapisarda

Lives in Recanati, Italy
“Two restaurants that are very, very good are Uliassi and Madonnina del Pescatore in Senigallia. I love good food, and I love good wine.”

Grégoire Berger

Lives in Dubai
“I have a family so we mainly enjoy the beach. When we go to restaurants sometimes we’ll have Arabic food, sometimes more European food. I like Al Hallab, it’s a Lebanese and they have a few restaurants in Dubai.”

Chang Liu

Lives near Shanghai
“When I have time off, I’ll go to a bar with friends. I like Mercato Shanghai, it has great Italian food.” 

Tarun Bhatia

Lives in New Dehli
“When I’m not working, I usually try to stay at home. But when I’m charged up, I try to go to local restaurants and see what’s coming up. There are a lot of new restaurants opening in New Delhi so there’s always some new café or restaurant. Recently, I went to Molecule.”

Daniel Nates

Lives in Puebla
“I like to go to bars in Cholula. It’s a good place because it has a lot of universities so there are a lot of casual bars. For example, La Martena.”

Matteo Zonarelli

Lives in Macau
“I don’t like to go to fine dining restaurants during my time off. I like to relax in a very simple, casual restaurant. One restaurant I like to go to is Il Café. It’s an Italian restaurant. I can’t always eat Asian food.”

Sean MacDonald

Lives in Calgary 
“I like to go to Una, it’s a pizza place. I like to go to a taco place called Native Tongues, and this Korean restaurant called Anju. There’s a lot of different type of food in Calgary so there’s always somewhere to eat. You can switch it up every week.”

Mitch Lienhard

Lives in Santa Cruz
“There’s a casual, New Orleans-themed restaurant called The Bywater in Los Gatos with everything made in house. Sausages, gumbo. It’s really delicious. It’s a fun time to go and have a drink there.” 

Shintaro Awa

Lives in France, grew up in Tokyo
“I go to Assaakua in Tokyo. It has the best local food, and the Tsukiji Fish Market.”

Nicolaj Schmidt Skadborg

Lives in Copenhagen
Uformel. It’s traditional Nordic cuisine that’s a good value. There’s not a set menu, it’s open a la carte, and it’s very good and inventive. There’s also a new restaurant called Spontan which means spontaneous in Danish. It’s a pub-like restaurant with a long bar. They also do Nordic food.”

Nicolaos Billis 

Lives in Athens
Papandreou. It has traditional Greek food. It’s like a fiesta all the time. Happy, happy people and happy food.”

Andrea Miacola

Lives in Vieste, Italy
“There’s a small restaurant in my hometown called La Ripa. They make Italian food with an international view. More southern than northern Italian kitchen. I like the location and the inside is very interesting. It’s like a cave.”

Leslie Hottiaux

Lives in Auckland, New Zealand
Cocoro is a Japanese place I like. A casual place I like is Coco’s Cantina which is an Italian restaurant. I love the ambiance, the service, everything. The restaurant scene in New Zealand has been very exciting over the last few years. A lot of restaurants opening, a lot of different cuisines. New Zealand is very multicultural.” 

Rodrigo Sandor

Lives in Budapest
Petrus and Laci Konyha. Great flavor, good technique and they're a great price. Both near the city.” 

Hezret Berdiev

Lives in St. Petersburg
“One of the bars that I hang out at is El Copitas. It’s one of the best bars in the world. There are two bartenders, one is my friend. It’s very small, they don’t have a lot of money. They just opened this very small bar and focused everything on the drinks.” 

David Andrés

Lives near Barcelona
“It’s difficult to say! Now, there are so many restaurants in Barcelona. I like to be by where I work, because there’s an opportunity to spend time and relax there. So I would say ABaC Restaurant. It only uses national products from our territory and works mostly with local products and little else.”

Seira Furuya

Lives in Tokyo
“I like going out in Ginza, it’s a district in Tokyo. Kushinobo is place I go where you can eat great fried food.” 

Matthias Walter

Lives in Southern Germany
“I like Restaurant Vendôme, it’s a really good restaurant. It has a three-michelin star chef and I like the food. They have a very good presentation, and many crazy creative dishes. I think it’s beautiful. They have special shapes and textures all on one plate. When I go, I always try a new signature dish.”

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