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 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.