Auckland chef through to finals of international competition
A family fish dish has helped an Auckland man get one step closer to being named the world's best young chef.
Mt Wellington resident William Mordido is among three New Zealanders who will head to Melbourne in September for the Pacific region semifinals of S.Pellegrino's prestigious Young Chef 2018 competition.
Mordido, who is originally from the Philippines, has been a regular at regional, national and international competitions since he was 16 years old.
The 24-year-old was selected for Young Chef 2018 from thousands of entrants from more than 90 different countries in June last year - after he created his signature dish for the judges.
* William Mordido: a chef to watch
* La Chaine des Rotisseurs is William Mordido's next challenge
* The best young chef in the world is Mitch Lienhard
The dish includes Jack Mackerel and was inspired by a "regular fish dinner" his mother would make when he was a child.
"I loved it - it was simple, yet the flavours were so complex. So, I put my own twist on it and turned it into my signature dish.
"My mother could not believe it," he said.
The International School of Italian Cuisine (ALMA) assessed Mordido's signature dish on ingredients, skill, genius, beauty and message.
Mordido completed a three year chef apprenticeship at Sky City in 2011 and went on to work as a sous chef at Chikos Restaurant and Cafe in Henderson, West Auckland.
He describes his 'taste' as a fusion of Filipino and Kiwiana cuisine.
"There are no stand-out Filipino chefs in the world. I would like to be that person," Mordido said.
Mordido will launch a pop-up restaurant called Buko in October, which will showcase his food in existing establishments around Melbourne and Auckland and eventually the world.
"With the pop-up concept, I can continue to explore the world and take Buko along for the ride," he said.
For the semifinal Mordido will take part in a live cook-off judged by Christine Manfield, Scott Pickett, Paul Carmichael, Andrew McConnell and Jacques Reymond.
Mordido will be joined in the semifinals by fellow Kiwis - Jason Kim from Auckland's Sidart restaurant and Robert Fairs from Christchurch's Roots restaurant.
In December, 21 chefs will be announced as official finalists and will move on to the finals held in Milan in June 2018.
Auckland's Apero Food and Wine founder Leslie Hottiaux, won the Pacific region semifinals last year and went on to Milan to compete in the finals.
For a chef starting out, the event and support that came with taking part was invaluable, she said.
Award winning author and chef Robert Oliver said Mordido was a creative chef who at the same time had a firm grasp of the cuisine of his homeland.
"Chefs like William are the future of food," Oliver said.