Last year, S.Pellegrino opened their Young Chef Academy, and they’ve just launched the first Young Chef Academy Monitor.  The monitor aims to share insight into the working lives and mindset of young chefs (aged 18 – 34) – to do this, they teamed up with Fine Dining Lovers to survey young chefs.

The survey was sent to S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition applicants (past and present) and was circulated on top international culinary sites, so it provides a global rather than local overview of local young chefs’ lives at the moment. It’s still useful to see just what some of the big concerns are for young chefs, and what their outlook is.

Here are some of the top findings from the survey:


  • About 30% are receiving full salary while 22% are unemployed thanks to Covid
  • Over ¾ of young chefs who are still paid are concerned about losing their jobs
  • Over 70% are confident of working in the industry in the coming years
  • Close to 60% hope to open a restaurant in the future.


  • 64% want to develop new skills
  • 54% train infrequently/not at all
  • Training cost a factor for 67%
  • Areas of improvement: restaurant finance, business management, and marketing and communication.
  • Top three strength: team management, waste management and new cooking techniques.


What are the top 3 factors affecting the role of a chef?

  • 52% say the rise in environmental consciousness and the demand for sustainable practices
  • 47% say the pandemic
  • 45% say increasingly prepared and demanding consumers

What do they want to see in the post-pandemic world?

  • 23% want improved business models for restaurants
  • 21% better training opportunities
  • 19% better unemployment benefits

Tom Jenkins, S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Spokesperson, says: “The inaugural ‘S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Monitor’ has been revealed as a vital tool for understanding the next generation of chefs. It has highlighted an ambitious and positive group, despite current circumstances. It has shown they are keen to learn, even if hindered by training costs. That’s why it’s so important to offer them a comprehensive and free educational program, as the Academy does for the young talents selected through the S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition. The Academy gives both them and more experienced chefs the chance to connect and discuss professional themes of interest, including the former’s priorities when it comes to learning new skills”.

Click here for the full survey. 

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