Pieter Sypesteyn may be mostly known in San Antonio for his artful New Orleans cuisine at The Cookhouse and NOLA Brunch & Beignets, but a new honor brings his cooking on to a global stage. On April 11, the chef brought home the title of International Chef of UNESCO Creative Cities after winning a cooking competition in Parma, Italy.
According to a release, Sypesteyn was one of three finalists selected out of 10 proposals submitted by chefs representing UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy. Each of the finalists were tasked with creating a unique dish that reflected the culinary traditions of the host country.
The hometown hero vied against Angela Sicilia of Belem and Daniel Paiva of Florianopolis — both well regarded restaurants in Brazil — in the “Cibus Off,” named after the gastronomic conference that hosted the event. A panel of esteemed food experts assessed each offering on creativity, quality of raw ingredients, and sustainability.
In the end, Sypesteyn dazzled with smoked fish manicotti made with consciously harvested seafood and seasonal herbs and vegetables. San Antonians will soon get a chance to find out what impressed the judges when the dish pops up on The Cookhouse menu for a limited time. Details will be announced in the next few days via the restaurant’s Facebook page.
The win was the culmination of a very good week for the Alamo City chef. While he was traveling to Europe, The Cookhouse was named Restaurant of the Year at the 2019 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards on April 10. It was the second Tastemaker trophy for Sypesteyn, who was named Chef of the Year in 2018.
But the busy restaurateur won’t have much time to bask in the glory. In mid-June, he’ll be back on the road to Italy, where he will demonstrate his champion cuisine in front of a worldly audience as part of the 13th UNESCO Creative Cities Conference in Fabriano.