by Alicia Lau
December 14th, 2015

What do you get when you put young chefs, fashion designers and the world’s finest sparkling water together?

S.Pellegrino, the sparkling water synonymous with fine dining put that recipe to the test by launching a worldwide search to discover and celebrate young talents with the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 competition.

Over 3,600 applications were received from chefs who were under 30 years old and had at least a year of experience working as a chef, sous chef or chef de partie.

The PR challenge: to generate media and influencer excitement around what was essentially a trade-focused event without a public participation element.

Weber Shandwick developed a phased plan to communicate S.Pellegrino’s commitment to discovering and celebrating young talent.

3. Kirk Westaway and Ken Samudio-thumbnail

Earlier this year, Singapore played host to the Southeast Asia (SEA) semi-finals, where the 10 semi-finalists from the region each presented their signature dish to celebrate chefs André Chiang, Ryan Clift and Gaggan Anand.

Leveraging the cook-off and behind-the-scenes access, the team created storytelling opportunities. A press briefing was held to introduce the chefs and exclusive media access was provided at the cook-off. Interviews with the judges built up to an awards cocktail session where Kirk Westaway, Sous Chef at JAAN Restaurant in Singapore, was named SEA finalist.

4. Pix 9

Food inspired fashion

The next phase of the programme involved a fashionable twist: the announcement of a young and upcoming designer partnering the SEA finalist for the global challenge in Milan. The media preview, held during Singapore Fashion Week, unveiled marine biologist-turned-accessories designer Ken Samudio who showcased an accessories collection inspired by Kirk’s winning dish of Forest Pigeon.

Fine dining and style took centrestage as S.Pellegrino unveiled teaser sketches of Samudio’s clutch, a first look at the source materials for this unique creation.

The campaign was a success with 4.8 million impressions and 93 hits.

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