Munich. All four winners have now been named: Three-star chef and nouvelle-cuisine pioneer Michel Guérard will be presented with the International Eckart Witzigmann Award (ECKART) 2017 in the category “Art of Living” at the Palace of Versailles, near Paris, on 21 Sept. 2017. This is the final selection to be announced by the ECKART jury.
The name Guérard is synonymous with nouvelle cuisine. In 1974, Michel Guérard and his wife, Christine, opened the “Les Prés d’Eugénie” hotel and restaurant in the spa town of Eugénie-les-Bains. Many of the visitors to the spa were actively looking to lose weight, so Guérard began observing how and what they ate. He soon recognised that diet meals were optimised for their benefits, without any attention to pleasing the palate. Guérard therefore decided to combine his ideas for healthy cuisine with classic French dishes. His recipes focused not only on reducing calories, sugar and fat, but also on enjoyment.
“Taste and pleasure are the essence of all French cuisine,” said Guérard, explaining his approach. “It is important to remember that, whenever we are trying to change eating habits, people simply want to enjoy their food.”
Guérard has continued to refine his methods and recipes, working with researchers, nutrition experts, biologists, sociologists, anthropologists and behavioural therapists. With the right techniques, Guérard and his team can reduce the calories in a classic dish by factor five. His healthy cooking nevertheless remains based on the traditional recipes of “nostalgic cuisine”, consisting of dishes with names such as “cassoulet”, “magret of duck”, “chocolate soufflé cake” and “Paris-Brest”.
In his book, “La grande cuisine minceur” (English: Light gourmet cuisine), published in 1976, Guérard describes his new way of cooking: Today, it is considered the first description of nouvelle cuisine. By 1977, Guérard had earned three Michelin stars for the “Les Prés d’Eugénie”, which it has retained to this day.
“Michel Guérard embodies an approach to cuisine that has since become almost commonplace, but which was revolutionary at the time,” explained Eckart Witzigmann, “chef of the century” and patron of the ECKART award, with reference to the jury’s decision. “His commitment to responsible gastronomy and modern cooking is more important than ever.”
“Healthy, sustainable company catering is also a priority for the BMW Group. With the support of the Witzigmann Academy, we have launched a number of new projects in recent years – such as NAHtürlich, which provides healthy, seasonal and regional dishes,” explained Dr. Nicolas Peter, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Finance, and patron of ECKART 2017. “Michel Guérard is a pioneer of healthy cooking and thus the perfect candidate for the ECKART 2017 for ‘Art of Living’.”
The ECKART 2017
The ECKART 2017 will be presented in the categories “Art of Cookery” (Alain Ducasse), “Innovation” (Maria Marté and Luisa Orlando), “Art of Living” (Michel Guérard) and “Creative Responsibility” (Tiffany Persons) on 21 Sept. 2017 in Versailles, near Paris. This international meeting of the culinary scene will be hosted by ECKART award-winner Alain Ducasse. It is the first time the award ceremony will be held outside of Germany and marks the start of the ECKART world tour, which will continue in the United States in 2018.
The BMW Group and the Witzigmann Academy have been partners since 2012 and are committed to their joint aim of creating an international platform for healthy eating, sustainable cuisine and responsible use of resources. Previous award-winners include Daniel Boulud, HRH Charles, Prince of Wales, Elena Arzak, Anne-Sophie Pic, Harald Wohlfahrt, Dieter Kosslick, Ferran Adrià, Marc Haeberlin, Joël Robuchon, Alex Atala, Jon Rose, Mick Hucknall, Massimo Bottura, Dominique Crenn, Andreas Caminada and many others.
Sustainability has been an integral part of the BMW Group’s corporate strategy for many years, with sustainable development firmly established as a corporate target at Group level: from the development of alternative, fuel-saving vehicle concepts through environmentally-compatible production processes to eco-friendly recycling methods.
If you have any questions, please contact:
BMW Group Corporate Communications
Julian Hetzenecker, BMW Group Business and Financial Communications
Press contact Witzigmann Academy
Tel: +49 89 139 260 26
Further information on the Eckart Witzigmann Award can be found at:
The BMW Group
With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 31 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.
In 2016, the BMW Group sold approximately 2.367 million cars and 145,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax was approximately € 9.67 billion on revenues amounting to € 94.16 billion. As of 31 December 2016, the BMW Group had a workforce of 124,729 employees.
The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.