The Kitchen of the Future

The BMW Group and Eckart Witzigmann look back on the first successful foodlab in Vienna with over 350 participants

Munich/Vienna. “What is the significance of good, responsibly-prepared food?” On Monday in the Schönbrunn Orangery in Vienna, top-class representatives of the

gastronomy industry discussed the varied aspects of this question during several panels. Participants of the first ECKART foodlabs then exchanged their knowledge of the producers’ market and put this knowledge into practice with selected products from all across Austria and the international Alpine region.

In his opening speech at the plenum of the Schönbrunn Orangery, Eckart Witzigmann said: “We must find appropriate answers to the questions of our time.” Wolfgang Puck and Franck Giovannini, winners of this year’s ECKART, who were honoured the previous evening, discussed the great cuisine of today with Eckart Witzigmann. “We need the avant-garde to move things forward,” was the conclusion of the high-calibre panel.

“The product is the star.” Under this motto several workshops informed the audience about unique products from the Alpine region – such as the citrus variety that has been cultivated for centuries in the Schönbrunn Orangery, types of grains that are 24 million years old, a wide range of cheeses from the Alpine region and honey vintages from the last 30 years. Maximilian Schöberl, Head of Corporate and Governmental Affairs and Chief Representative of BMW AG, commented on the opening of the producers’ market: “True to our motto ‘The product is the star’, we invited food producers from all across the region. High quality, no long transport routes and sustainable production. That’s how I imagine the perfect products.”

In the final discussion of the ECKART foodlab #1, prominent figures presented their ideas on what the kitchen of the future will look like. Rainer Nowak, Editor-in-Chief of Die Presse, drew the following conclusion: “The kitchen of the future should be more educational, healthier, more regional and more feminine. Anna Haumer, top chef from Vienna, sees a concrete task for the upscale gastronomy industry of the future: “The kitchen has an educational task. Cooking with children is important so that they know how and which ingredients are used to prepare what is on the table. Heinz Reitbauer from Steirereck presented his vision of star cuisine: “It is important to create your own profile. We want to enchant guests and tell stories. We have an important part to play in the cultural landscape.”

The topic of communal dining was also examined in detail. Nowadays, large kitchens have to strike a balance between the obligation to provide and responsible nutrition, according to the tenor of the discussion. “Good company catering is an image factor,” said Maximilian Schöberl. “We offer our employees the same high standards all over the world. We focus on a regional approach and open kitchens. And we want to use our information campaigns to raise employees’ awareness of good food and to also share this knowledge with their families.”

Alois Adlberger, head of BMW Group Food Service Steyr, adds: “Measured by sales, the BMW Group is one of the ten largest companies in Austria and has an annual purchasing volume of 1.8 billion euros from domestic suppliers. Our gastronomy at the Steyr plant makes an important contribution to this. We already procure more than 80% of our food from the region around the plant. Quality and freshness are of course directly related to taste. True to the title of the discussion “Class versus mass”, Adlberger adds: “Our focus is on enjoyment. That’s what we learn from top gastronomy.”

ECKART 2019 for ART OF LIVING goes to Wolfgang Puck

Media Information 19 May 2019

Munich/Vienna. The ECKART 2019 FOR ART OF LIVING goes to Wolfgang Puck, one of the most renowned gastronomy entrepreneurs in the world, who has had a decisive cultural influence in the United States. The opening of the first gourmet restaurant in Hollywood in 1982 marked the beginning of the Austrian chef’s success story, which he owes to his culinary brilliance.

“Wolfgang Puck is a modern ambassador of quality and good taste – his ideas have changed American gastronomy and continue to shape it beyond the present,” says Dr. Nicolas Peter, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Finance, and patron of ECKART.

“In addition to his lively personality and his culinary brilliance, which focuses on evolution instead of radical changes, Puck’s sense for the right balance between tradition and innovation is the basis of his success. He also uses this success for a comprehensive social commitment that is second to none,” says Eckart Witzigmann, explaining the jury’s decision.

Puck supports numerous foundations and organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the Special Olympics and the Make-A-Wish Foundation and is dedicated to promoting young talent. Since 2007, Wolfgang Puck has also committed himself to no longer offering foie gras in his bars and restaurants and to focusing entirely on organically-grown products.

Wolfgang Puck’s path to world-class gastronomy led him from his Austrian homeland via France to America. Puck now operates over 100 restaurants worldwide, including several star restaurants. For 20 years, he has also served as the chef for the Governors Ball – the official dinner after the Oscars. Despite his international fame, however, he continues to focus on his roots, as the Wiener Schnitzel can be found on all of Puck’s menus.

The ECKART
The BMW Group and the ECKART Academy have been partners since 2012 and jointly award the Eckart Witzigmann Prize for outstanding achievements in the gastronomy scene. The partnership is based on the common goal of promoting healthy nutrition, sustainable cuisine and the 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, Tiffany Persons, María Marte, Alain Ducasse, and many others.

The award for sustainable enjoyment and social responsibility will be presented at a ceremony in Vienna on 19 May 2019.

ECKART 2019 for EXCELLENT CULINARY ART goes to Franck Giovannini

Media Information 19 May 2019

ECKART 2019 FOR EXCELLENT CULINARY ART goes to Franck Giovannini
The BMW Group and the ECKART Academy are honouring a Swiss chef who uses his extraordinary skills to subtly modernize Cuisine spontanée

Munich/Vienna. The ECKART 2019 FOR EXCELLENT CULINARY ARTS is being awarded to Franck Giovannini from the Restaurant de l’Hotel de Ville in Crissier, Switzerland. A student of star chef Frédy Girardet, founder of the “Hotel de Ville”, Giovannini combines a concentration on the essence of the products with the highest level of craftsmanship.

“Franck Giovannini is a silent revolutionary. He appreciates tradition and brings his expertise to the modernization of Cuisine spontanée, making it one of the most exciting modern cuisines of our time,” says Dr. Nicolas Peter, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Finance, and patron of ECKART. Giovannini impressed the jury with his youthful, light and elegant cuisine.

“Crissier is an elite training ground for young chefs, characterized by the ‘Cuisine spontanée’ of Frédy Girardet, founder of the ‘Hotel de Ville’. Our award winner has carefully and respectfully delivered this cuisine into the present. What distinguishes Franck Giovannini from other cooks of his generation is his attitude of respect. This applies above all to people: his guests, his kitchen and service staff as well as his predecessors in the legendary de l’Hôtel de Ville,” explains Eckart Witzigmann. The Swiss native learned his trade in Switzerland, Canada and the U.S. The 45-year-old was not only awarded three Michelin stars and 19 points in Gault-Millau, but was also named 2018 Chef of the Year.
In the Cooking Academy of the 3-star restaurant, he also devotes himself to passing on his knowledge to children, fellow cooks and experts.

The ECKART
The BMW Group and the ECKART Academy have been partners since 2012 and jointly award the Eckart Witzigmann Prize for outstanding achievements in the gastronomy scene. The partnership is based on the common goal of promoting healthy nutrition, sustainable cuisine and the 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, Tiffany Persons, María Marte, Alain Ducasse, and many others.
The award for sustainable enjoyment and social responsibility will be presented at a ceremony in Vienna on 19 May 2019.

ECKART foodlab#1

What’s good food? Is there good food without a guilty conscience? Do labels like organic, seasonal or regional help me? “Practice decides,” says Eckart Witzigmann. “It is more important to cook for yourself than to go out for a meal from time to time.

The ECKART foodlab tests answers in theory and practice. The compass of this exploration is the often quoted and rarely implemented credo of the chef of the century (Gault&Millau) Witzigmann: “The product is the star!

This is why the ECKART Academy, together with its partner BMW Group, is launching the ECKART foodlab and is looking at the top as well as the bottom. The goal is to help good, responsibly prepared food achieve a breakthrough.-that is the aim.

The first ECKART foodlab is dedicated to the topic: Grounding the avant-garde. Viennese cuisine” and the “Culinary heritage of the Alps” provide illustrative material for initial answers.

The gastronomic elite, together with the best producers in the Alpine region, as well as media representatives, scientists and activists, exchange ideas on the subject of the kitchen of the future.

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ECKART 2019 goes to Vienna with new format

BMW Group and Eckart Witzigmann launch the first foodlab in Vienna

Munich.The BMW Group and star chef Eckart Witzigmann are expanding their joint commitment to culinary arts, conscious enjoyment and social responsibility: In the eighth year of cooperation, in addition to awarding the renowned international Eckart Witzigmann Prize, the ECKART foodlab will take place for the first time. “The product is the star” – this is the motto of the one-day event, which will take place on 20 May 2019 at the Schönbrunn Orangery and will provide information about the many aspects of good food. Market stalls with selected products from all over Austria and the international Alpine region will tempt visitors to put new knowledge into practice. 

“Our partnership with the Eckart Academy is based on the common goal of promoting healthy nutrition, sustainable cuisine and the responsible use of resources,” says Dr. Nicolas Peter, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Finance, and patron of ECKART. “With the ECKART foodlab, we are creating a modern format, with which we want to address a broader audience.”

Eckart Witzigmann explains the idea behind the foodlab: “Sustainability, quality and responsibility in nutrition have always been important to me. But what does that mean in concrete terms for everyone? With the foodlab, we want to establish a platform and gain more attention and broad impact. Our goal is to help good, responsibly-prepared food achieve a breakthrough. Together with the BMW Group, we are developing and promoting ideas to ensure that something really changes.”

Under the title “The product is the star – grounding the avant-garde”, the ECKART foodlab #1 is dedicated to the questions: What is good food? Is there good food without a guilty conscience? Do labels such as organic, seasonal or regional help consumers? “It is more important to cook for yourself than to just eat well from time to time,” says Eckart Witzigmann. The first ECKART foodlab evaluates answers in theory and practice, in small workshops or discussion rounds with exciting personalities from the gastronomy scene. The orientation of this exploration is Witzigmann’s oft-quoted and rarely implemented credo: “The product is the star.” “Viennese Cuisine” and the “Culinary Heritage of the Alps” with a producers’ market provide illustrative material for the first answers. Eckart Witzigmann adds: “The greatest thing for a gastronome has always been to know his producers. To be able to tell them what was good and what wasn’t so good and which products you would like to have.”

Additional information and tickets for the event can be found  here.

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

The BMW Group and the ECKART Academy yesterday presented the 2018 Eckart Witzigmann Award, named after chef Eckart Witzigmann (ECKART) for sustainable enjoyment and culinary delights. Approximately 200 guests from sectors of internationally renowned gastronomy, culture and business celebrated the merits of Suzanne Cupps and Danny Meyer (Lifestyle), Astrid Gutsche and Gastón Acurio (Innovation), Christopher Kostow (Great Culinary Art) and the Union Square Greenmarkets (Creative Responsibility) in the Spring Studios in Manhattan. As a surprise, Günter Seeger, pioneer of Greenmarkets, also received the award. The 2018 Eckart Alumni Prize went to Alice Waters.

At the BMW Group, we firmly believe that diversity in all its facets is the key to new ideas and innovative, sustainable concepts. That is why we support ECKART,” said Dr. Nicolas Peter, BMW AG Management Board Member responsible for Finance, and patron of ECKART, in his welcoming speech. “With the ECKART, we assume social responsibility and, not least through the endowment, we want to initiate lasting change.” 

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ECKART 2017 presented at Palace of Versailles. Prize money for sustainable projects at high international level.


Versailles/Paris.
The BMW Group and the Witzigmann Academy welcomed the who’s who of international high-end gastronomy yesterday to the Palace of Versailles, outside of Paris. The two partners presented the international Eckart Witzigmann Award (ECKART) for outstanding services to the culinary arts, nutrition and responsible use of resources together for the sixth consecutive year. For the first time, the ECKART was endowed with €50,000 of prize money for each category, to reflect the prestige and importance of the award among top international culinary prizes.

Award ceremony of the ECKART 2017 in Versailles on 21 September.
ECKART 2017 Award Ceremony Versailles Highlights – long version

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Witzigmann Academy and the BMW Group honour ECKART 2016 award winners Award ceremony at BMW Group Classic with outstanding gala dinner

Munich. The international world of haute cuisine gathered at BMW Group Classic in Munich last Tuesday for a special occasion: “Chef of the century” Eckart Witzigmann presented the ECKART 2016 named after him to Dominique Crenn, Andreas Caminada, Sebastian Copeland and the Munich Viktualienmarkt. An honorary award was also received by Julia and Tobias Moretti. In just over ten years, the International Eckart Witzigmann Award, ECKART for short, has established itself as one of the highest accolades for outstanding achievements in the art of cookery and fine dining. This was the fifth year the award has been presented in conjunction with the BMW Group.

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Glamour and Enjoyment at ECKART 2015 award ceremony Films

Munich. BMW Museum hosted a grand gala event for the presentation of the Eckart Witzigmann Award 2015 on Tuesday. “Chef of the century” Eckart Witzigmann paid tribute to fellow chef Massimo Bottura, the Troigros family of restaurateurs and the father of Nordic cuisine, Claus Meyer. Awards were also presented for contemporary German gastronomy, represented by three of its outstanding exponents: Ulrike Thieltges, Klaus Erfort and Melanie Wagner.

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