Finalists Announced for the 2015 S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition

Five of the most promising culinary students in the U.S. will compete for the winning title and a year-long culinary internship with one of the county’s top chefs

STAMFORD, Conn.--()--S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water today announced the five finalists in its 2015 Almost Famous Chef Competition. These contestants, talented culinary students from across the U.S., will move on to the finals competition, joined by their chef mentors, to compete for the coveted S.Pellegrino Almost Famous chef title. The winner will also receive a one-year paid apprenticeship with one of the country’s top chefs.

In its 12th year, the S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition serves as a platform for leading culinary schools to showcase students’ expertise within a fast-paced, high-pressure cooking competition. The competition further demonstrates S.Pellegrino’s passion for excellence and commitment to supporting emerging culinary talent.

The five finalists and their top chef mentors are:

  • Colfax Selby, The International Culinary Center, New York, NY
    • Mentor: Chef JJ Johnson, The Cecil
  • Destiny Antommarchi, Johnson & Wales University, North Miami, FL
    • Mentor: Chef Sam Gorenstein, My Ceviche
  • Qi Ai, Kendall College, Chicago, IL
    • Mentor: Chef Sarah Grueneberg, Monteverde
  • Ryan Kim, The University of Nevada, Reno, NV
    • Mentor: Chef Wilfred Bergerhausen, Le Cirque
  • Dominick Teroni, Paul Smith’s College, Paul Smiths, NY
    • Mentor: Chef Chris Coombs, dBar

The competition kicked off in January 2015 and featured students from 46 culinary schools from across the country in a series of five regional competitions. Students received guidance from renowned chefs in the industry through a mentor program before presenting their signature dish to a panel of esteemed judges.

“Just as chefs have their trusted sources for the finest ingredients, S.Pellegrino looks to the source for tomorrow’s star chefs – the great culinary schools of America,” said Karen Ress, Vice President and General Manager, S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna. “The finalists for this year’s competition represent the amazing talent that is being fostered around the nation and we are thrilled to see their skills come to life.”

The 2015 Almost Famous Chef finals will take place from March 13 – March 16, 2015 in Napa Valley, CA. Each finalist will work alongside their top chef mentors throughout the weekend to refine their signature dish and prepare for a mystery basket challenge. All participants will have a chance to win various category prizes, and the winner will take home the Almost Famous chef title and a one-year paid apprenticeship with an accomplished chef.

For photos and more information on the 2015 S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition, visit

About S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water

The signature taste of S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water is created during a 30-year journey through the Italian Alps, where the water is naturally filtered. S.Pellegrino cleanses the palate and amplifies subtle flavors, making it the perfect complement to fine food and wines. This clean, refreshing taste helped S.Pellegrino become a preferred sparkling water in fine-dining restaurants in the USA, and pairs well with any occasion.

S.Pellegrino is proud to support a number of top culinary events, such as The James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef of the Year Award, S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, Aspen Food and Wine Classic, Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation, and Identità Golose. For more information, visit or


Team N
Lindsay Hawley, 617-520-7109


Team N
Lindsay Hawley, 617-520-7109