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Paul Qui Wins S. Pellegrino Cooking Cup 2013

Photo: @DeanaSaukam / Twitter

Top Chef: Texas winner Paul Qui won the title of Young Chef of the Year 2013 at this year's S. Pellegrino Cooking Cup in Venice, Italy this past weekend. He beat out nine other chefs from around the world in a two-part, two-day competition that involves cooking food for a 160-person dinner as well as on a moving, racing ship. Both times, the chefs' dishes are judged by an international (albeit mostly Italian) group of 10 judges, including Osteria Francescana's Massimo Bottura. Qui's "stellar performance on the water" while making his winning Chawan Mushi (steamed egg custard) also won him an Inside the Cooking Award. Israeli chef Haviv Moshe took home the People's Choice Award.

After a few days' of soft openings last week, his Austin empire flagship, Qui, will be opening June 20. He is also apparently breaking ground on a second storefront for his food truck-turned-brick-and-mortar concept, East Side King. Here's the full press release for the Cooking Cup with the full list of judges and contestants. It calls the Cooking Cup "one of the most significant and unique culinary challenges in the world":

U.S.A. Chef Paul Qui Wins Young Chef of the Year 2013 Award at the 13th Annual S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup in Venice Italy

Food lovers from around the globe gathered for one of the world's most unique culinary challenges

Stamford, CT – June 15, 2013 – Today, S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water announced the winners of three prestigious awards given at the 13th Annual S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup, one of the most significant and unique culinary challenges in the world. The event, which took place over the weekend in Venice, Italy, featured ten extremely talented international young chefs, joined by sailors and fine dining lovers from across the globe.

Three esteemed awards were given to the following chefs:

· Acqua Panna & S.Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year 2013 Award: Chef Paul Qui of U.S.A.
· Inside the Cooking Award: Chef Paul Qui of U.S.A.
· People's Choice Award: Chef Haviv Moshe of Israel

Organized in collaboration with the historic Venetian yacht club Compagnia della Vela, the S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup is the combination of a cooking competition and regatta. Each of the ten chefs, representing a different country, took part in all the stages of the competition. Acqua Panna & S.Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year 2013 and Inside the Cooking Award winner Paul Qui, co-founder and chef/owner of East Side King and qui, hails from Austin, TX. His was the winner of Bravo's Top Chef Season 9 and received the 2012 James Beard Best Chef Southwest Award.

His inspirational dishes, mackerel with tomato dashi and steamed egg custard, earned Chef Paul Qui of U.S.A. the Acqua Panna & S.Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year 2013 Award. As a result of his stellar performance on the water, judges also selected Chef Qui for the S.Pellegrino Inside the Cooking Award. The mackerel with tomato dashi dish was prepared on the eve of the regatta for 160 guests and an esteemed jury of renowned chefs during the Young Chef of the Year dinner. He prepared his second dish, steamed egg custard, as the sailing crew raced for 12 miles from Malamocco to San Giorgio Island. Meanwhile, guests agreed that Chef Haviv Moshe of Israel's dish was top notch, voting him to be the winner of the People's Choice Award. All three awards were presented during a Gala dinner on the final evening of the event.

"We are thrilled to give recognition to the incredible talent displayed at the S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup this year," said Stefano Agostini, President and CEO of Sanpellegrino S.p.A. "This event is unlike any other, and it is an honor to give these young culinary experts a platform to demonstrate their capabilities and creativity. Congratulations to Chefs Qui and Moshe and to all the chefs that participated this weekend."

"Participating in the S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup was the opportunity of a lifetime," said Chef Paul Qui. "I'm thrilled to have been awarded the Acqua Panna & S.Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year 2013 and Inside the Cooking Award and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to be in the company of some of the world's finest chefs in the Venice."

The complete list of the 2013 competing chefs is as follows:

1. AUSTRALIA: Stewart Wesson, Public

2. AUSTRIA: Rudi Obauer, Jr, Restaurant Obauer

3. BELGIUM: Yannick Van Aeken, NEDE

4. CHINA: Ren Jie Liu, XiJiao State Guest Hotel

5. ISRAEL: Haviv Moshe, Messa

6. ITALY: Giuseppe Iannotti, Kresios

7. NETHERLANDS: Jeroen Trimbos, Jérôme

8. RUSSIA: Vladimir Muhin, White Rabbit Restaurant

9. UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Dominic Petzold, The Westin-Le Meridian Mina Sehayi

10. USA: Paul Qui, qui

The 2013 jurors were as follows:

1. AMSTERDAM: Ron Blaauw, Chef and Owner of Ron Blaauw Restaurant

2. AUSTRALIA: Richard Ousby, Sous-Chef at Quay and 2012 S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup Winner

3. FRANCE: Bruno Oger, Chef of La Villa Archange

4. MOSCOW: Nino Graziano, Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Academia Restaurant Group

5. ITALY: Andrea Berton, Chef of upcoming restaurant: Andrea Berton Restaurant

6. ITALY: Davide Scabin, Creator of Combal.Zero Restaurant

7. ITALY: Francesca Barberini, TV presenter, Writer and Project Head for Gambero Rosso Channel

8. ITALY: Franco Favaretto, Chef of Baccaladivino of Mestre

9. ITALY: Massimo Bottura, Chef and Owner of Osteria Francescana

10. ITALY: Ottavio Missoni, Jr. of the Missoni family

· S. Pellegrino Cooking Cup 2013 [Fine Dining Lovers]
· Paul Qui Wins Young Chef of the Year 2013 Competition [@DeanaSaukam]
· All Paul Qui Coverage on Eater [-E-]