Jake Kellie has had quite a year. The 26-year-old moved to Singapore from Australia in January and assumed the role of head chef at Burnt Ends. Yesterday, he competed against 10 of South-East Asia’s best young chefs and came out on top. As the winner of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef South East Asia Regional Final 2017, he goes on to compete for the title of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 in Milan, Italy next year.
Culinary director, Richard Ekkebus, from two-Michelin-starred Amber in Hong Kong said that Kellie's win was a unanimous decision: "Jake impressed us with his confidence. He was organised and composed, and most importantly, his dish was tasty and technically strong." Moving forward, the accomplished chef acts as Kellie's mentor in the competition.
Kellie's winning aged pigeon dish was inspired by his Australian roots, making use of native ingredients such as strawberry gum and finger limes. The plate was also specially made in Australia, and glazed with the ashes from the oven of Burnt Ends. “Jake’s dish has a very strong story as it truly reflects his Australian identity, and we will work to better articulate the message behind it," explained Ekkebus. "He already shows great craftsmanship and we will be working on presenting a stronger message that would differentiate South East Asia from the other competing regions at the grand finale.”