Young women chefs headed to global competition in Paris

Young women chefs headed to global competition in Paris

Photo of Steve Barnes

Two Capital Region women will be the sole young chefs representing the United States in September at an international cooking competition in Paris sponsored by the oldest culinary organization in the world.

Gabriella O’Neil won the Young Chef National Competition this past weekend in Kansas City, Mo., besting rivals who like her won regional competitions around the country. The cook-off, for chefs younger than 27, is sponsored by the Chaine des Rotisseurs, with a history that dates to 1248.

O'Neil, 22 and from Albany, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park before working at the restaurants 15 Church in Saratoga Springs and Yono's in Albany. She recently returned to 15 Church, but the chef-owner of Yono's, Yono Purnomo, has continued coaching her for the Chaine competitions.

Her winning menu last weekend included soy-braised bacon, striped bass and shrimp mousseline with mushroom risotto, and, for dessert, a pavlova with fruit and candied pistachios.

She will continue to train over the summer with Purnomo for the Paris competition, where she will be alongside Carly Yezzo, a 23-year-old from Glenville, who won the Chaine's 2019 national competition but was unable to compete at the international event last year because of the pandemic. A graduate of the culinary program at SUNY Delhi, Yezzo works in the kitchen at Hamlet & Ghost in Saratoga. The U.S. Chaine chapter pays for costs associated with attending the global event.