ECKART 2018 award ceremony in New York

The BMW Group and the ECKART Academy honour pioneers of responsible cuisine and award prizes for visionary projects.

Eckart Witzigmann vor 7er BMW auf dem Times Square in New York auf dem Weg zur
Preisverleihung des “ECKART 2018 / Internationaler Eckart_Witzigmann Preis 2018” powered by BMW Group in den SPRING STUDIOS in New York am 14.06.2018
Agency People Image (c) Michael Tinnefeld

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Friends of ECKART #4: The visionary – Günter Seeger

Günter Seeger, who grew up in the Black Forest, lives in the USA for decades. He is one of the pioneers of the Greenmarket movement. Without his support greenmarkets would not be as important as they are today. In his recently opened restaurant “Günter Seeger New York” he brings their best products to the plate. He uses his sophisticated culinary art to help the products achieve their optimum taste. Günter Seeger is a visionary who realizes his idea of quality and taste virtuously and without compromise.

ECKART 2018 for Innovation goes to Astrid Gutsche and Gastón Acurio

The BMW Group and the ECKART Academy honour a Peruvian couple that has revolutionised the culinary world with traditional regional recipes and a sense of environmental and ethical responsibility. Eckart Witzigmann: “Having the courage to challenge haute cuisine with local cooking styles: That is innovation.”

Munich. The jury of the international Eckart Witzigmann Award (ECKART) hasannounced another winner for this year’s award ceremony: The ECKART 2018 for“Innovation” goes to Astrid Gutsche and Gastón Acurio. The award will be presented at the ECKART Gala in New York in June.

“Astrid Gutsche and Gastón Acurio are no ordinary restaurateurs: By boldly challenging haute cuisine with local ingredients and recipes, the husband-and-wife team are revolutionising the culinary world of an entire country. Gastón Acurio focuses on the fundamental values of cooking: quality, creativity and regionality. His social commitment, which aims to use culinary creations to develop his country into a brand and lead it to prosperity, merits the award for the ‘Innovation’,” explainedEckart Witzigmann, announcing the jury’s decision.

The success story began in 1994 with the opening of the couple’s first restaurant in Lima. “Astrid y Gastón” served French cuisine bearing the signature of chef Gastón Acurio, who, at that time, regarded haute cuisine as the measure of all things – until his wife, Astrid, reacquainted him with the treasures of local cooking and changedher partner’s thinking. Ultimately, Acurio not only introduced haute cuisine to Peru, but also brought the culinary diversity of Peru to award-winning dining. Since 1999, when his wife opened his eyes to local cooking styles, Acurio has embraced his native culture and experimented with local ingredients to create his own recipe for success. Since then, both have sought out interesting new products for original and creative dishes that have been exported from distant Peru and brought its flavours to the world. Astrid Gutsche and Gastón Acurio launched a gastro-cultural revolution that has fundamentally changed Peru.

Today, the couple presides over the kitchen at the Casa Moreyra in Lima, an impressive 18th century San Isidro residence, which “Astrid y Gastón” moved to in2014. They now own 50 restaurants and businesses worldwide.

As entrepreneurs, Astrid Gutsche and Gastón Acurio recognised their social and environmental responsibility at an early stage: In 2007, they opened Peru’s firstsubsidized culinary school with low, almost symbolic, fees in a low-income, humble district of Lima to provide up-and-coming chefs from the area with an opportunity for professional success. The use of regional products in their exceptional dishes shows a deep understanding of sustainability and not only sends a strong signal for Peru, but also for responsible use of resources at global level.

The ECKART

Partners since 2012, the BMW Group and the ECKART Academy jointly present theEckart Witzigmann Award for outstanding achievements in the categories: “Art of Cookery”, “Innovation”, “Art of Living” and “Creative Responsibility”. The partnershipis based on the joint aim of creating an international platform for healthy eating, sustainable cuisine and responsible use of resources. The total endowment of€250,000 reflects the prestige and importance of the ECKART as a top internationalculinary award. In 2018, the award will take another step towards becoming more international, with the presentation of the ECKART 2018 at an official ceremony in New York.

ECKART 2018 for Creative Responsibility goes to New York’s Union Square Greenmarket

Fresh, regional, authentic: The Union Square Greenmarket has connected the steel and concrete heart of New York City to nature and helped promote sustainable, healthy eating and regional products for years.

Munich. The jury of the international Eckart Witzigmann Award (ECKART) has announced its second selection for this year’s award ceremony: The ECKART 2018 for“Creative Responsibility” goes to the Union Square Greenmarket in New York –recognising its outstanding services to regional and responsible nutrition in the very city where the award will be presented at the ECKART Gala in June 2018.

“The Union Square Greenmarket was one of the first pioneers. The message it sent has since become a global trend: A closeness to nature and its products is increasingly finding a place in cities,” explained Eckart Witzigmann, announcing the jury’s decision. “For almost two generations, the market has sold fresh, healthy food grown by local farmers, in the heart of New York City. Since the beginning, it has been committed to selling in-season products from across the region – which is exactly what the ECKART stands for.”


The Union Square Greenmarket is part of the GrowNYC initiative, which provides sustainable resources in New York City. Various markets across the city – referred to as “greenmarkets” – offer fresh, untreated products grown by the region’s farmers. The market on Union Square was the first of its kind and boldly turned away from the American fast-food mainstream as early as 1976. Today, the market can be classed as a trendsetter and food consciousness has established itself as part of modern cooking. The award recognises Union Square Greenmarket’s mission of giving regional agriculture and more than one hundred small famers from the surrounding areas the chance to sell high-quality food products directly to customers. The aim of making healthy nutrition accessible to all New Yorkers was also praised by the

The BMW Group is also aware of its social and environmental responsibility and offers employees in Munich meals made from in-season products from across the region as part of the NAHtürlich project. “The trend towards a more seasonal and regional focus plays an increasing role in society. At the BMW Group, we think a great deal about how we can integrate sustainably produced food into our everyday lives and support responsible cultivation of regional products,” explains Dr. Nicolas Peter, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Finance, and patron of the ECKART. The pilot project was launched in 2016 with the support of the ECKART Academy – and has proved a resounding success: NAHtürlich meals are now available at four locations in Munich.

The ECKART

Partners since 2012, the BMW Group and the ECKART Academy jointly present the Eckart Witzigmann Award for outstanding achievements in the categories: “Art of Cookery”, “Innovation”, “Art of Living” and “Creative Responsibility”. The partnershipis based on the joint aim of creating an international platform for healthy eating, sustainable cuisine and responsible use of resources. The total endowment of€250,000 reflects the prestige and importance of the ECKART as a top internationalculinary award. In 2018, the award will take another step towards becoming more international, with the presentation of the ECKART 2018 at an official ceremony in New York.

ECKART 2018 for “Art of Living” goes to Suzanne Cupps and Danny Meyer

 Young, urban gastronomy based on fresh regional products 

 The jury of the international Eckart Witzigmann Award (ECKART) has announced its first selection for this year’s award ceremony: The ECKART 2018 for “Art of Living” goes to New York restaurateur Danny Meyer and his executive chef, Suzanne Cupps, from the “Untitled” restaurant, located inside New York’s Whitney Museum. The award will be presented at the ECKART gala in New York in June. 

“Suzanne Cupps and Danny Meyer represent a young urban gastronomy that skilfully combines creative culinary art and modern hospitality,” explained Eckart Witzigmann, announcing the jury’s decision. “Their focus on simple natural ingredients from across the region, cultivated in the most sustainable way possible, is 100 percent in line with the ECKART philosophy.” 

Danny Meyer, ECKART 2018 in the category “Art of Living”.

Danny Meyer is an entrepreneur with a feel for strong concepts and quality. He heads the successful Union Square Hospitality Group, which includes some of the most popular and successful restaurants in New York City, including the Union Square Cafe, the Gramercy Tavern and The Modern at the MoMA. His restaurants offer more than just good food; he creates an exceptional experience for guests of all generations, not just for a specific target group. His restaurants are places where people come together to enjoy themselves. He finds spaces and opens them up to new possibilities: It is thanks to him that museum gastronomy has embraced a young and attractive cuisine. 

Suzanne Cupps, ECKART 2018 in the category “Art of Living”.

A good example of this is the Whitney Museum, home to the “Untitled” restaurant, where Suzanne Cupps has been chef since 2017. As Union Square Hospitality Group’s only female executive chef, Cupps brings a breath of fresh air to the museum and its cuisine. In a casual but elegant atmosphere, she presents subtly aromatic dishes based on fresh and sustainably-cultivated seasonal products. After graduating, the up-and-coming chef initially wanted to be a maths teacher. Now, she brings her sense of clarity and precision to the kitchen, where her gentle and respectful handling of basic products has created her own inimitable style. 

The ECKART 

Partners since 2012, the BMW Group and the Witzigmann Academy jointly present the Eckart Witzigmann Award for outstanding achievements in the categories: “Art of Cookery”, “Innovation”, “Art of Living” and “Creative Responsibility”. The partnership is based on the joint aim of creating an international platform for healthy eating, sustainable cuisine and responsible use of resources. The total endowment of €250,000 reflects the prestige and importance of the ECKART as a top international culinary award. In 2018, the award will take another step towards becoming more international, with the presentation of the ECKART 2018 at an official ceremony in New York. 

Friends of ECKART #1: Moments of magic – Daniel Boulud

FRIENDS OF ECKART: The winner of ECKART 2011 FOR EXCELLENT CULINARY ART, Daniel Boulud, talking about his experiences in New York.

Born in Lyon, Daniel Boulud has been celebrating a grand cuisine with seasonal accents for more than 30 years at the focal point New York. As one of the best chefs in the world, Daniel Boulud has received the highest awards numerous times for his superlative prowess – for instance, three stars from Guide Michelin and four stars from the New York Times. In all the years, his art of cookery has never forfeited curiosity and creativity. That is the basis on which he – highly respected around the world by his colleagues – can achieve outstanding successes at his restaurants, of which there are now ten all over the world.

presented by ECKART ACADEMY in partnership with BMW GROUP