Local Student Chef Slices Nat’l Competition

Luis Young showed foodies around the country the 3-0-5 knows how to handle their knives

Denver Post via Getty Images

Johnson and Wales student Luis Young traveled to Napa Valley over the weekend to show foodies from around the country that the 3-0-5 knows how to handle their knives -- in the kitchen.

And Young did just that, winning the 8th annual S. Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef competition.

The 22-year-old from Panama beat out  10 other chefs in a "Top Chef"-style challenge called "Signature Dish," for which, Young whipped up the dish that won him the regional competition: herb-scented seared venison, which he said is a challenge because, if overcooked, tastes like "overcooked liver."

In addition to winning $13,000 for himself and $1,000 for his school, Young also received an apprenticeship with one of the top chefs in the country.

It's a particularly sweet win, as Young wasn't even supposed to be a part of the regional competition but was selected at the last minute when another student dropped out.

"So I received an E-mail from one of the chefs that said you've been chosen," he recalled. "You have a week to practice."

Young may have been a last-minute replacement, but the truth is, he's been prepping for this since he was a kid. Young started cooking at age 13 after growing up with a kidney disease that restricted his diet so much that he was forced to cook for himself.

"That's when I realized I like this," Young said. "Since I was 13, my goal was to be a chef."

Contact Us