Munich. In times when almost all events are being cancelled, the ECKART Academy acts against this trend. The ECKART 2020 and the connected culinary symposium take place. On September 6th 2020, this year’s awards will be conferred in the location of the NOI Techpark in Bolzano. On September 7th 2020, the open format, which was already tested in Vienna last year, will take place.
A special concept
Thus, the ECKART 2020 is a special event with a new concept: Eckart Witzigmann: “We focus on what we missed most during the last months: personal encounter. Not as close as we would like to, but maybe even warmer. Thanks to the extraordinary commitment of the autonomous region of South Tyrol, first and foremost governor Arno Kompatscher, the event can take place. Agriculture, culinary experiences and tourism are the basis of South Tyrol’s existence. Ranging from haute cuisine to the traditional art of cooking, South Tyrol’s gastronomy unites Alpine and Mediterranean elements that make it so unique, whilst honoring the high quality of its regional products. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic massive drops in all areas were the result. Therefore, with this event the autonomous region of South Tyrol wants to set a signal, which marks the start of a new beginning and shows its direction by giving prominence to craftsmanship, highest quality, and sustainability.
An innovative location
This year’s location stands for that, too. Instead of choosing a rather historical location like the Versailles castle and Schönbrunn Castle in Vienna or the Spring Studios in New York, the ECKART 2020 will take place in the NOI Techpark in Bolzano. It is one of the most innovative techparks in Italy. NOI – an acronym for Nature of Innovation – stands for the combination of technological knowledge transfer, as well as the linking of entrepreneurship, research and science. Besides that, the close collaboration with the local food industry with a focus on sustainability and quality is essential. Eckart Witzigmann: “Without the outstanding commitment of the autonomous region of South Tyrol and the NOI we would not have been able to manage this act of strength. I sincerely want to thank both for supporting us.”
A glamorous Award Ceremony
This year on September 6th six awards will be conferred.
ART OF LIVING
Further there is a special award, which is dedicated to culinary sustainability and endowed with 50.000 €. In addition to this extraordinary year, the PRIX d’ECEPTION, which was only awarded once to HRH Prince Charles of Wales will be conferred. All awardees are informed and will attend the ECKART. They will be publicly presented within the coming days.
“The young chef Suzanne Cupps and the restaurant entrepreneur Danny Meyer, winner of the ECKART 2018 FÜR LEBENSKULTUR, supported the New York organization “City Harvest” with the award money of 50,000 € donated by the BMW Group.”
The BMW Group and Eckart Witzigmann look back on the first successful culinary symposium 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 culinary symposium 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 culinary symposium #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.”
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 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.
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 culinary symposium 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 culinary symposium 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 culinary symposium 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.
BMW Group and Eckart Witzigmann launch the first culinary symposium 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 culinary symposium 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 culinary symposium, we are creating a modern format, with which we want to address a broader audience.”
Eckart Witzigmann explains the idea behind the symposium: “Sustainability, quality and responsibility in nutrition have always been important to me. But what does that mean in concrete terms for everyone? With the symposium, 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 culinary symposium #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 culinary symposium 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.
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.”
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.
Around 150 guests from the international gastronomy scene came to the Palace of Versailles yesterday to pay tribute to the winners of the ECKART 2017. The combined culinary expertise of more than 80 Michelin stars was gathered in the “Galerie des Batailles”. The evening was hosted by ECKART 2017 award-winner and three-star chef Alain Ducasse, who served guests a world-class gala dinner following the awards ceremony.
In the sixth year of collaboration, the ECKART reinvented itself once again to become even more international and more diverse. This was the first time the awards ceremony has been held outside Germany, as the ECKART embarks on a world tour to visit culinary experts around the globe.
For the first time this year, all four ECKART award categories were endowed with a cash prize of €50,000 each. The sum provided by the BMW Group will benefit a charitable cause or innovative project chosen by the award-winner.
The BMW Group will provide a further €50,000 to support a yet-to-be-named project by a recent ECKART award-winner that has continued to grow. The jury of the ECKART together with the BMW Group is responsible for selecting the project. In this way, the BMW Group can ensure that its commitment to ECKART contributes to long-term improvements.
“Social responsibility, sustainability and cultural and international diversity – that is what both the ECKART and the BMW Group stand for. We want our award-winners to be able to continue with sustainable projects,” said Dr. Nicolas Peter, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Finance, and patron of the ECKART 2017, in his speech. “But sustainability is about more than just paying attention to a topic one time. In recent years, we have got to know a number of fascinating award-winners and projects. Together with the jury of the Witzigmann Academy, we will select a project we feel is so important that we want to continue to support it.”
The BMW Group’s total endowment of €250,000 means that the international prestige and importance of the ECKART is now also reflected in the prize money. The ECKART is hereby positioning itself in the very top tier of international culinary awards.
Eckart Witzigmann expressed his thanks at the evening event: “Thanks to the BMW Group, the ECKART can get actively involved and make a real difference”. He continued: “My name stands behind this award and my greatest wish is to give an opportunity to projects that are trying to make the world a better place. Responsible behaviour in all aspects of nutrition is top priority for me.”
ECKART 2017 award-winners.
ECKART 2017 for “Art of Cookery”: Alain Ducasse.
Alain Ducasse represents the revival of haute cuisine unlike any other and makes the product the focal point in a radical way. He is the first chef to create and serve an all-vegetarian menu worthy of three stars. Ducasse thinks far beyond the plate. Food is for him a fundamental need with the status of a civil liberty.
Alain Ducasse is the only chef to have earned the highest accolade of three Michelin stars for three different restaurants: “Le Louis XV” in Monte Carlo; “Le Plaza Athénée” in Paris and the “Alain Ducasse at the Essex House” in New York City.
ECKART 2017 for “Innovation”: María Marte and Luisa Orlando.
An extraordinary career path from dishwasher to Michelin-starred chef and a manager with the courage to support her from the very beginning: Born in the Dominican Republic, María Marte is linked to Spain’s Luisa Orlando by a unique story. After immigrating to Spain in 2003, Marte took a job as a cleaner and dishwasher at El Club Allard, though her ambition from the outset was to become a chef. Overcoming hurdles and prejudices, she managed to earn herself a job as kitchen assistant. By 2006, she had become the right hand of chef Diego Guerrero, who was awarded the restaurant’s first Michelin star in 2007 and its second in 2011. However, in the wake of Guererro’s unexpected departure in 2013, managing director Orlando decided to take a bold and unprecedented step: Defying all doubts, she appointed the erstwhile dishwasher María Marte as head chef. Their success is a testimony to the credentials of both women: Together, they have successfully defended the two-Michelin star rating of El Club Allard since 2014. Marte is the only female from Latin America to hold two Michelin stars.
ECKART 2017 for “Art of Living”: Michel Guérard.
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 nutritional 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.
Guérard set out his new way of cooking in his book, “La grande cuisine minceur” (English: Light gourmet cuisine), published in 1976: 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.
ECKART 2017 for “Creative Responsibility”: Tiffany Persons.
In 2006, well-known marketing and music-video director Tiffany Persons travelled to Sierra Leone for the first time to film a documentary. Impressed by the enthusiasm and cheerfulness of local people facing the most adverse conditions, Persons founded Shine On Sierra Leone (SOSL) in 2007 to raise money for building urgently-needed schools. The organisation has continued to grow ever since: Today, the non-profit SOSL is committed to promoting wider access to education,
healthcare, microfinancing and regional culture, and providing sustainable building and agricultural programmes for the communities of Sierra Leone and its people.
Her success speaks for itself: The Muddy Lotus Primary School founded by SOSL, which was built using the revolutionary sustainable earthbag construction method, is one of the best in the country. More than 20,000 people across the country were also able to improve their future prospects by attending computer classes. In just five years, by focusing on microloans for women, the organisation has enabled more than 3,500 female small-business owners to earn their living. SOSL worked with the ecotourism company Tribe Wanted to build an ecovillage, using the CalEarth earthbag method and creating many new jobs. The aim is always to develop sustainable change from within society, instead of relying on outside intervention as an act of charity.