Jonnie Boer, Restaurant De Librije, Zwolle – Netherlands
No. 29 / 50 Best 2014, *** Michelin De Librije & **Michelin Librijes Zusje
Rocking all over the world – Jonnie Boer
Two Harleys rumbled to a stop by Restaurant De Librije, that Jonnie Boer runs together with his wife Thérèse in the historic walling of a convent out of the 16th century. The black Harley is Jonnies, Thérèse is driving the white one.
In the basement of the restaurant you find the open kitchen with its legendary Chefs table. Hard Rock Music sounds out of the radio during preparation. A direct hint to Jonnies ‘power kitchen style’. Quite early the three star chef developed his very own ‘Boer style’ which is consequently build upon products out of his region. He collects for example the seeds of wild herbs and grows them in his own green house. The same with different vegetables, fermented they build an aromatic basis, a stock for many dishes. “Many colleagues that reached the third Michelin star go on cooking the same style, only aiming the goal to keep the standards they achieved. I tried the same, but I realized that I want more, I want to achieve new things, always.” Jonnie explains his motivation to always find new and amazing creations.
But Restaurant De Librije is not everything. Jonnie & Thérèse demonstrate entrepreneurial courage. They operate a shop and the legendary Librije’s Hotel, located in a former women’s jail. Here is also the cooking & wine school and the second Restaurant Librije’s Zusje, awarded with two Michelin stars. They operate the catering ‘Food on Tour’ and furthermore they will take on responsibility for all drinking and dining facilities at Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, which was opened in the beginning of may 2014.
Grant Achatz, Restaurant Alinea, Chicago
*** Michelin, No. 9, The World`s 50 Best Restaurants
American Icon – Grant Achatz
Without a doubt Grant Achatz is the leading ambassador of American Avant-garde cuisine. For that he earned many awards like „Best Chef in the United States“ or „Rising Star Chef of the Year“. Time Magazine selected him on the list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Rightly as Achatz inspired numerous chefs around the whole world with his courage and imagination, he strongly changed the culinary scene. In his flagship restaurant Alinea he is serving his legendary tasting menu with 15 to 19 courses. Some of them just float on a wire, others are served on self-designed plates, nowadays icons of the American avant-garde. With his menu Achatz forges close emotional links to his guests.
Dave Beran – Next Generation Restaurant
Restaurant Next, Chicago, United States
In his presentation Dave Beran will explain the unique concept of Achatz’ Restaurant Next. Dave entered Alinea team in 2006. In 2011 he proceeded to become Chef of „Next“ Restaurant. Like in a theatre or at a sports event one has to buy a ticket for the restaurant visit. Being late means it is forfeited, menu staging will go on without the ones belated. Advantage is clear: no coming and going of guests, better planning for the kitchen and no hectic during accounting, as the guests have already paid. An exciting and brave way into a Next Restaurant Generation.
Massimo Bottura, Osteria Francescana, Modena – Italy
No. 3 / 50 Best 2014, *** Michelin
Kitchen of contemporary Art – Massimo Bottura
Osteria Francescana in Modena. What is it, most famous restaurant in Italy or one of the best Art Galleries? And the Kitchen behind – is it really only a kitchen or more an artist’s workshop of an artistic genius? Who like a Jackson Pollock hurls out his creations that are full of emotion and soul.
Massimo Bottura is always ready to describe his work with philosophical sentences. These are stories and experiences from Nature, of his childhood and his homeland that inspire him. Basically he works with products from his region, which are transformed by his genius to vanguard pieces of art.
A snowfield melts standing before the guest and the hidden delicious green turns out. Behind a camouflage on a plate a rabbit hides away and an apparent simple Risotto turns out to a brilliant Parmesan orgy.
Without doubts autodidact Massimo Bottura is an exceptional person.
In 2011 he was awarded with the Chef’s Choice of World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy. Selected “best Chef” by his own colleagues. It can’t get any better.
Quique Dacosta, Restaurant Quique Dacosta, Denia, Spain
No. 41 / 50 Best *** Michelin
Master of minimalism – Quique Dacosta
For Insider Quique Dacosta is ranking the world’s elite of avant-garde chefs since many years. In 2012 finally the official confirmation by “new entry” as No. 40 in the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, in 2013 No. 26. Also the three stars Michelin have been awarded in these times.
On one hand Quique Dacosta is one of the most radical Avant-garde chefs, on the other hand he is a sensible searcher for natural products in his surroundings.
In his restaurant in Denia near the Spanish Costa Blanca is served what Quique Dacosta can find in a periphery of 75 kilometres.
The local product is guiding theme of his work. In his menu – local univers – culture, tradition, taste and fiction meet each other. His typical dishes are minimalistic. Sometimes he simply shapes the Avocado stone over the fruits flesh or he “only” serves a red king prawn.
Dacosta applies as authority in the usage of rice, aloe Vera and micro greens. His dishes with these ingriedients are already legends.
His career is unique. He began as dishwasher, later on he was scullion in restaurant El Poblet in Denia, the restaurant called Quique Dacosta today.
Richard Ekkebus – Restaurant Amber, Hong Kong
No. 4 Best of Asia, No. 24/50 Best, ** Michelin
Solid French Rock standing in cosmopolitan breakers – Richard Ekkebus
Richard Ekkebus is a native of the Netherlands. He was engaged with the classical French cuisine long before he became chef of the restaurant Amber at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong. Today, Hong Kong is a part of China but rebelliously retained its own identity. This vibrant business metropolis is a cosmopolitan crossroad of superlatives. Like in a time lapse, Chinese, European, Arabic, South-East-Asian and American impulses weave through the city. The city is alive and is constantly shaping and reshaping itself. And in the the heart of it all is the restaurant Amber.
Ekkebus imbibes all these influences but his restaurant remains a fortress of the modern French cuisine. Once, a famous Chef said „The best French cuisine you’ll find in Restaurant Amber“
Richard Ekkebus – Restaurant Amber, Hong Kong: www.mandarinoriental.com/landmark
Björn Frantzén, Restaurant Frantzén, Stockholm – Sweden
No. 23 / 50 Best 2014, ** Michelin
Parallel existence to New Nordic Cuisine – Björn Frantzén
In 2011 a Restaurant from Stockholm was put into the light of the international food scene. „One to watch“ concluded the jury of the 50 Best Restaurants of the World.
And lo and behold, one year later the restaurant Frantzén-Lindeberg was found in number 20 of the top-50-list. In-between co-founder Daniel Lindeberg goes his own way and the creative head Björn Frantzén leads the no called Restaurant Frantzén on his own.
What was happening in this restaurant surrounded by the Shabby-Chic-atmosphere of old Stockholm was and still is sensationally. Apart from the orthodox route of New Nordic cuisine with its strict product philosophy an independent Nordic style was found.
In fact around 90 per cent of the used products are Scandinavian, but not exclusively.
If there is anywhere something better to be found they use that. Burgundy truffles from France are simply better than those from Gotland. Many things come out of own gardens. “Nature and season decide what we have on the menu”, Frantzen proclaims. Again the creator is open for aromas form abroad. Tandoori Masala is likewise to be found as classic French stocks. Important are influences from the Japanese Kitchen. That inspires Frantzén since his time in Tokyo. So his Menu refers to the Japanese “Kaiseki” respectively the modern interpretation of that.
Björn Frantzén is cooking with courage and brainpower and he communicates his knowledge on stage downright enjoyable.
Restaurant L’Air du Temps, Belgium, ** Michelin
In the spirit of times – Sang Hoon Degeimbre
Wallonia, a region whose economic decline by closure of the resident steel mills and coalmines has left clear traces. But near village Liernu an enclave of bustle is to be found, a place of pilgrimage for tourists and gourmet food journalists from around the world. The restaurant L’ Air du Temps, led by Sang Hoon Degeimbre, is one of the leading avant-garde restaurants in the Benelux market.
The native Korean who grew up in his Belgian adoptive family, worked as a sommelier in some of the leading restaurants in the country. In 1997, Sang Hoon Degeimbre changed his career to a self-educated chef and opened his own restaurant. Already three years later the first Michelin star was awarded. Degeimbre is considered one of the most innovative exponents of modern signature dishes. His creations are light, mostly vegetable emphasized, full of finesse – and though picking up the spirit of times and trends, but always absolutely independently.
René Redzepi – Restaurant Noma, Kopenhagen – Denmark
No. 1 / 50 Best 2014, **Michelin
Listen to the Future – René Redzepi
For many years the chef of restaurant “noma” has been leading the top-end of international avant-garde cuisine. He is a pioneer in a daring field. His specialties lie in traditional and novel Nordic products, such as Reindeer moss, bark or crumble peat. His methods seem at first sight deceptively archaic. But don’t let looks deceive you for within that suspiciously scorched piece is a scrumptious bite of heaven. Like the works of Joseph Beuys or Claude Monet 150 years ago–both of whom led innovation in their fields–Redzepis work was never without controversy . Served living arthropods and crustacean, one is tempted, if not obligated, to remark, “That goes too far, that’s impossible! I would never eat this! In our country food safety inspectors would have closed the restaurant!” Hasty first impressions in the face of something revolutionary. But nothing less can be expected of pioneers. They challenge the norm, open new avenues never before considered, and it is our privilege to bear witness to these brave new steps into a whole exciting frontier.
Behind these innovative new ideas is the non-commercial research station , Nordic Food Lab, which is dedicated into searching for new and alternative elements for revolutionary culinary masterpieces such as a vegan foie gras and intensely delectable essences formed through fermentation.
René Redzepi – Restaurant Noma, Kopenhagen – Denmark
Tim Raue, Restaurant Tim Raue, Berlin
** Michelin, No. 76 / 100 Best
Berlin guy with Asian soul
A wandering soul from the east was roaming through the streets of Berlin and took hold of a street gang member and filled him with passion for the culinary arts. “How would you describe your own style? Kind of Asian European Fusion?” we asked him. “Do you want to insult me? I’m cooking Asian style!” he answered in his typical Berlin tongue. Carve out your own style, never compromise and don’t be intimidated by criticisms – those are his rules. Tim Raue has the courage to dare to be different. In his Restaurant in Berlin, he exclusively serves dishes that energize and vitalize that do not strain the body. Bread is not served before the menu and filling side dishes are conspicuously absent. Instead, one is offered delightful healthy treats like swim bladder or sea cucumber. With this genius combination of Japanese product perfection, Thai aromas and Chinese kitchen philosophy, Tim Raue achieved for himself a unique position. Guide Michelin awarded the restaurant with two stars and GaultMillau gave his unique culinary philosophy a whopping 19 points.