On Wednesday 19th December, applications for the 50 Best BBVA Scholarship 2019 will close. Apply now on the scholarship portal for your opportunity to complete stages in three restaurants from the 50 Best family between June and November 2019, and read the top tips from host chefs Clare Smyth, Julien Royer and Jorge Vallejo.
Now in its second year, the 50 Best BBVA Scholarship – an initiative developed by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) – nurtures upcoming culinary talent by offering the recipient the opportunity to complete restaurant internships, or stages, in three restaurants from the 50 Best family. Entries will close on Wednesday 19th December and aspiring chefs, as well as talented culinary students, are encouraged to submit their entries now.
After flying to Singapore in June 2019 and receiving the scholarship on stage at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony, the recipient will undertake three six-week stages at Odette in Singapore, Core by Clare Smyth in London and Quintonil in Mexico City.
Restaurant 1: Odette, Singapore, with mentor Julien Royer
Royer and Pigeon three services
Working alongside award-winning chef Julien Royer at Odette, the scholarship recipient will have a chance to develop their culinary skills and food philosophy while being mentored by the French cook whose restaurant is taking Asia by storm, placing at No.5 in the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 list. Royer has been mentoring young chefs in his kitchen for almost 10 years.
“I am incredibly excited to be part of mentoring the next generation of great chefs,” he says. “It's always fantastic to have fresh energy in the team and I hope that we will be able to give them a very unique learning experience here in Singapore, the crossroads of the world.”
Restaurant 2: Core by Clare Smyth, London, with mentor Clare Smyth
Smyth and Lamb carrot
Providing the opportunity to learn and be mentored by experienced culinary personalities, stages form an important part of a cook’s career. Host chef Clare Smyth, named the elit® Vodka World’s Best Female Chef 2018, completed dozens of stages, even into her late 20s, when she was head chef of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London. Smyth opened her acclaimed restaurant, Core by Clare Smyth in London, in July 2017.
“Doing stages even for a couple of days was key to my development as a young chef,” says Smyth. “That thirst for learning, for experience, for understanding the spirit and the way other people cook and think, is invaluable. As a young chef, you have to find the place that feels right for you. Kitchens have a feeling. If you belong there, you’ll know. You need to have the opportunity to do that.”
Restaurant 3: Quintonil, Mexico City, with mentor Jorge Vallejo
Nixtamalised tomato with sweet onion reduction and Vallejo
As part of the scholarship, the winner will also be flown to Mexico City to work alongside chef Jorge Vallejo and his wife and front of house manager Alejandra Flores at their restaurant Quintonil, ranked No.11 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018. The scholarship covers all international travel for the winner, and also includes a £1,500 allowance to help the recipient support themselves during the stages.
“The scholarship fills us with satisfaction and commitment. We want to be a driving force for inspiration to the person who will come to work with us,” says Vallejo. “It's always good to support the people in whom you find that same passion to make people happy, which is the definition of what it is to be a cook: to feed people, to make them happy and to make them have a great time.”
The 50 Best BBVA Scholarship is open to aspiring cooks with less than three years' experience in a professional kitchen and culinary students over the age of 18 from anywhere in the world. Entries can be submitted on the scholarship portal and will close on Wednesday 19th December.