Professeur de Cuisine



The texts on the award winners refer to the time of the award. 

On the occasion of Eckart Witzigmann's 80th birthday, the ECKART 2021 goes to an innovative project for healthy and sustainable nutrition. The prize is endowed with € 50,000 by the BMW GROUP, the long-standing partner of the ECKART Academy. The sum goes to an innovative project that brings together exceptional partners. 

These are the oncological competence center Klinik Bad Trissl, a close cooperation partner of the Munich university network and the number 1 in Bavaria for tumor patients, and the most highly awarded chef in Munich Jan Hartwig. Together they use the know-how of top cuisine to further develop the nutrition of patients and clinic staff also with regard to the health of nature and creatures. Alongside medical treatment, nutrition is regarded as one of the most important factors in the recovery of sick people. Jan Hartwig is the advisor and companion from the practice, who brings in his network of excellent producers from the regional agriculture. 

Eckart Witzigmann, Jan Hartwig & the oncological competence center Klinik Bad Trissl  (Agency People Image (c) Michael Tinnefeld)

The project sees itself as the forerunner of a movement that sees community catering - in hospitals, public institutions and companies - as the big lever for substantially improving nutrition. "In hospitals in particular, food must become tastier and healthier," says Eckart Witzigmann of the project's objectives.

"We want to see a substantial improvement in the way sick people and people who are not well eat," adds Maximilian Schöberl, Executive Vice President of BMW AG. "In addition, we also want to further improve nutrition at our company so that our employees benefit and stay healthy." 

To give the project the necessary impetus, it is being accompanied scientifically in two ways. Prof. Volkmar Nüssler, MD, Managing Coordinator of the Tumor Center Munich (TZM), is responsible for the proof of concept from a medical perspective. Prof. Dr. Nicole Graf, Rector of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University Heilbronn, is responsible for the business management.

Eckart Witzigmann,  Prof. Dr.Med Volker Nüssler, Prof. Dr. Nicole Graf, Ilka Horstmeier (Member of  the managing body, BMW Group) (Agency People Image (c) Michael Tinnefeld)


The texts on the award winners refer to the time of the award.  


     Pierre Gagnaire & Johannes Nuding, London  


Pierre Gagnaire is one of the most innovative and original chefs today. With his futuristic visions that offer heavenly tastes and a ballet of colors, he is always ahead of his time. His cooking is unclassifiable – he has reinterpreted the kitchen. Accordingly, he is admired for his dazzling combinations, but he also provokes controversy, but never meets with indifference. In his restaurant in St. Étienne, which opened in 1981, he cooks for himself a worldwide reputation. His cuisine is based on tradition and skilfully plays with uninhibitedly contradictory tastes, textures and ingredients. Gagnaire cooks highly creatively and with great attention to detail. He makes no compromises in the kitchen; he and his team are committed to excellence in every respect. At the end of 1996, Gagnaire made a new start in Paris, experienced a brilliant rise, and today over 20 restaurants in eight countries bear his name, including the „Pierre Gagnaire“ in Paris and the „sketch“ in London, which has three Michelin stars.

(Agency People Image (c) Michael Tinnefeld) The latter is a stroke of luck. It is founded in partnership with one of the most talented chefs of the present: Johannes Nuding, who comes from Tyrol. The young, inquisitive chef will initially work for Joël Robuchon, later moving to Gagnaire, where he will be in charge of the „sketch“ in 2014. Inspired by their joint work, Nuding uses the carte blanche, develops his own signature and takes the restaurant, which has been in existence since 2003, to a new level. In 2019 he is awarded three Michelin stars – the first Austrian chef since Eckart Witzigmann. Nuding continues to develop French cuisine and skilfully integrates regional elements from his Austrian homeland. Gagnaire and Nuding offer their guests an extravagant, luxurious, whimsical and theatrical experience that appeals to all senses. The teamwork of the two sensitive individualists is a unique exception: it gives new, forward-looking impulses to the art of cooking and creates an incomparable experience. 


    Norbert Niederkofler, Trentino    

(Agency People Image (c) Michael Tinnefeld)

Norbert Niederkofler stands for the most modern and currently most innovative regional cuisine. Consistently regional and fully utilized products of the best quality form the basis of his culinary art.

His years abroad, in Zurich, Milan, Munich and New York, have led him to rediscover his roots: „my country, nature and all its treasures“. In his work and style, the chef follows the „rhythm of nature“ and develops his dishes „always around the product“. He puts this credo into practice in his restaurant „St. Hubertus“ and in numerous projects. Norbert Niederkofler’s alpine cuisine „Cook the Mountain“ tries to express the region, the traditional agriculture, the natural quality of the products and presents them with care and lightness. The result is a modern cuisine at the highest level, rooted in the region and the only one in South Tyrol to be decorated with three Michelin stars.



    Ilona Scholl & Maximilian Strohe   
(Agency People Image (c) Michael Tinnefeld)

In crises, people encourage us who develop creative ideas to help themselves and others. Such activities are even more impressive when they overcome boundaries and find new ways. This is life culture, which is especially necessary when circumstances throw people back to themselves and their elementary needs. The ECKART 2020 for Creative Responsibility therefore goes to people who dared to take such steps and supported them during the pandemic that broke out in 2019. Restaurant manager Ilona Scholl and chef Maximilian Strohe, whose Michelin-starred restaurant „tulus lotrek“ in Berlin is closed during the peak phase of the pandemic, as is the entire catering industry, are launching the „#kochenfürhelden“ campaign. With good, wholesome and high-quality food, they take the term „restaurant literally and „restore“ those people „who ensure that our lives can continue under the current circumstances“. Meanwhile, „#kochenfürhelden“, which sees itself as the „grassroots movement“ of restaurateurs in times of the Corona crisis“, is the largest relief action, which is joined by over 100 restaurants.when the world goes off the rails, hardly anything is as important as food. The breathing space that a good meal gives to those who are in the front line is much more than food: it is one of the most important achievements of civilization. Moreover, when people who don’t know top gastronomy are captivated by the skills of top chefs – and they in turn get to know people who don’t usually visit their restaurants – it promotes some of the most important core values that modern societies need today more than ever: respect, gratitude and cohesion. 


    Myrtha Zierock,Trentino   

(Agency People Image (c) Michael Tinnefeld)

Myrtha Zierock reinvents agriculture. She makes a virtue of the scarce soil in South Tyrol and Trentino. She gets the idea for it during her studies in Canada: there the short vegetation and growth phases must be used to the maximum. At home she grows salads and vegetables between the vines. This is time-consuming and costly, but produces products of first-class quality. She markets these herself, sets up a farm market and sells her products directly to numerous cooks. In dialogue with you, she improves and refines her offer. The demand is increasing, but instead of delivering the goods over long distances, she exports the method and enables interested parties in other regions to adapt their experience.

Myrtha Zierock, with her start-up in the vineyard, is the driving force behind a new, sustainable approach to agriculture. She radically focuses on quality, modernizes traditional methods and experiences and initiates the network of sustainable agriculture through her export. people encourage us when they creatively take on challenges and develop creative ideas to help themselves and others. Such actions receive high radiant emittance by humans, who attained considerable popularity and influence with their abilities.


    Tim Mälzer    
(Agency People Image (c) Michael Tinnefeld)

Tim Mälzer makes the art of cooking known to a wide audience through his television broadcasts. When in March 2020 all gastronomic businesses have to close due to the pandemic, he becomes the most powerful advocate of the threatened and thoroughly systemically important gastronomy. In several widespread statements, he not only draws attention to the situation, but also speaks personally to those responsible and opens their eyes. His attitude is particularly effective because Tim Mälzer succeeds in combining strong arguments with authentic emotionality. Tim Mälzer doesn’t stop at words: he also supports those who are particularly burdened. He puts his skills and his team at the service of „#kochenfürhelden“, brings the campaign to Hamburg and supplies hospitals, pharmacies or supermarkets. 

The ECKART 2020 PRIX d’ECEPTION goes to Tim Mälzer because he is courageous and committed to making himself their strongest advocate in a crisis that is existential for the catering industry. In doing so, he reaches a large audience as well as those responsible, and ensures that gastronomy is perceived for what it is: one of the most important achievements of modern civilization.


    Carlo Petrini, Italy   
(Agency People Image (c) Michael Tinnefeld)

Carlo Petrini is an intellectual practitioner. Like no other he combines both. His masterpiece is the Slow Food organization founded in 1986. It sees industrialized food as a misguided development and opposes it with a new, simple and comprehensive concept. „Good, clean and fair“ sums up the credo of the movement, which now has over 100,000 members in a good 150 countries on all continents. Its goal is nothing less than a revolution in agriculture and nutrition.  The organization builds on the discussion about taste as a cultural, individual and social perception, on the right to enjoy and on quality as its prerequisite. Carlo Petrini is still one of the most important and untiring driving forces behind this movement today, and he has been a key figure in the development of this movement ever since. This is proven by his numerous other activities, such as the creation of the „Salone del Gusto“ of the „Università di Scienze Gastronomiche“, the cheese festival „Cheese“ in Bra or the farmers‘ network „Terra Madre“.Carlo Petrini reconciles opposites with his creative dialectic, thus changing our consciousness and showing us how we ourselves can create a new and better reality.


The texts on the award winners refer to the time of the award. 




    Franck Giovannini, CH-Crissier    


Franck Giovannini is a silent revolutionary. He values tradition and transforms it into one of the most exciting modern kitchens of our time.

Quality, origin, regionality, seasonality of the products and their precise processing are just as important to him as many of his colleagues. What distinguishes Franck Giovannini from other cooks of his generation, however, is his attitude of respect. This applies above all to the people: his guests, his staff in the kitchen and service, as well as his predecessors in the legendary Swiss restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville Frédy Girardet, Philippe Rochat and, last but not least, his tragically deceased friend Benoît Violier.

Driven by this basic attitude, Giovannini creates a young, light and elegant cuisine. Franck Giovannini’s concept of EXCELLENT CULINARY ART is to concentrate on the essence of the products combined with the highest level of craftsmanship. This is his answer to the fashions of the present and for him it is the true challenge of our time. Giovannini and his team not only succeed in modernising nouvelle cuisine, but also in creating a magical overall experience that touches people.




    Wolfgang Puck, Los Angeles


Wolfgang Puck is still pushing “to offer his guests a better experience”. Influenced by his Austrian homeland, his training as a chef and his eye-opening work in southern France, he emigrated to the USA in 1973. There he experienced his breakthrough in 1982 with the opening of the first gourmet restaurant in Hollywood. The “Spago” became an authority and made his chef famous as a pioneer of modern “fusion cuisine”, now popular worldwide.

The company of the most successful European restaurant operator from Austria now comprises more than 100 restaurants with over 5,000 employees worldwide. For over 20 years he has also been responsible for the now legendary banquet at the Oscars. In addition to his dynamic personality and his culinary brilliance, which focuses on evolution instead of radical changes, his sense for the right balance between tradition and innovation is the basis of his success. He also uses this success for a comprehensive, unparalleled social commitment. He not only supports the American Cancer Society, the Special Olympics, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Cystic Fibrosis Society, but his restaurants in Los Angeles also supply food to the non-profit food distribution groups Chef’s to End Hunger, Meals on Wheels and Second Harvest Food Bank.

Wolfgang Puck is a modern ambassador of quality, good taste and helping people to help themselves – his ideas have changed American gastronomy; they shape the ART OF LIVING beyond the present.


The texts on the award winners refer to the time of the award. 


    Christopher Kostow, St.Helena


Christopher Kostow is the third youngest chef and the second from the United States to receive three Michelin stars. For Meadowood he cooked an impressive list of prizes, all of which prove one thing: He is a master of his craft, which he developed as an autodidact. But what makes the award-winning chef so special are not the awards, but the reasons for which he received them: Kostow cooks discerningly, treats the products carefully and selects only the best for his extraordinary creations. Traditional combinations meet culinary inventiveness and are combined with regional products from the Valley as well as seasonal ingredients grown in the garden and selected by hand. Kostov’s boundless curiosity in particular enriches his work, the constantly changing map and the result of his work, which captures the charm of the Napa Valley. 


    Astrid Gutsche and Gastón Acurio, Lima    


Since 1999, after his wife Astrid Gutsche opened his eyes to the local cuisine, Gastón Acurio has been committed to his culture, experimenting with local ingredients: a recipe for success. Since then, both have been looking for interesting new products for the original and creative creations that made their way from faraway Peru and brought the taste of their homeland to the world. Gastón and Astrid started a gastronomic revolution that fundamentally changed Peru. As entrepreneurs, both recognised their social and ecological responsibility early on: in 2007, they opened the first Peruvian cooking school with a heavily subsidised and therefore only symbolic tuition fee in a low-income district of Lima and gave young chefs from their home country the chance of professional success. The use of regional products for their extraordinary creations shows a deep understanding of sustainability, which is not only a sign for Peru, but also for the worldwide use of resources. 



    Suzanne Cupps and Danny Meyer, NewYork   


Danny Meyer is an entrepreneur with a flair for strong concepts and quality. He leads the successful Union Square Hospitality Group, which includes some of New York’s most popular and successful restaurants such as Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern and The Modern at MoMA. In his restaurants he offers more than good food – he provides his guests with an extraordinary experience. He succeeds in doing this for all generations, not just for a “target group”. His restaurants are places of enjoyment and encounter. He also finds and opens up spaces and possibilities: He was a leading force in bringing contemporary, attractive cuisine to the museum restaurants and cafes. One example is the Whitney Museum. Suzanne Cupps has been head of the restaurant “Untitled” there since 2017. As the only female chef in the Union Square Hospitality Group, Cupps brings an invigorating breeze to the museum and kitchen. In a casual and elegant atmosphere, she presents subtly aromatic dishes based on fresh and sustainably grown seasonal products. As an aspiring cook, she initially wanted to become a mathematics teacher after her studies. She has brought her sense of clarity and precision into the kitchen and this characterizes her gentle and respectful handling of the basic products to an inimitable style.




    Union Square Greenmarket, New York     

    Günter Seeger, New York


Union Square Greenmarket is part of the GrowNYC initiative, which provides sustainable resources in the city of New York. Various markets – called “greenmarkets” – offer fresh and untreated products from local farmers throughout the city. The Union Square market was the first of its kind and was already taking a step against the American fast food mainstream in 1976. Today, the market can be called a trendsetter: The conscious handling of food has established itself in the modern kitchen. Union Square Greenmarket receives the well-deserved award for its mission of giving regional agriculture, and thus over a hundred small farmers from the local area, the chance to sell their high-quality food directly to customers. The ECKART jury also praised the claim to make healthy nutrition accessible to all New Yorkers. 

Günter Seeger is one of the founders of “New American Cuisine” and promotes the highest culinary art with regional and fresh products. He also collaborates with regional farmers for his enjoyable creations and brings the trend of Union Square Greenmarket from the street to star cuisine.


    Alice Waters, Chez Panisse, Berkeley    


Alice Waters opened the first Slow Food restaurant with local and sustainable products in the USA in 1971 and is Vice President of Slow Food International. The pioneer in her area founded the “Edible Schoolyard” program in 1995 with the aim of improving nutrition education in American schools. Since then, 5,625 school gardens have been built, through which Waters has introduced students worldwide to the topic of healthy nutrition and the sustainable use of resources.


The texts on the award winners refer to the time of the award.


     Art of Cookery

    Alain Ducasse, ****Paris


“Alain Ducasse embodies a culinary philosophy that is very similar to my own. Preparing food is first and foremost a craft for him: The product takes centre-stage, with no room for airs and graces in the kitchen,” said Eckart Witzigmann, commenting on the jury’s decision. 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. 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. With an approach more prêt-à-porter than haute couture, Ducasse started out opening bistros in his name without aspiring to the level of a starred restaurant. In this way, he was able to share his culinary philosophy with a wide audience. Today, he operates 26 restaurants worldwide. 



    María Marte & Luisa Orlando,** Madrid


The renowned Eckart Witzigmann and his international jury awarded the accolade in honour of Marte’s extraordinary career path from dishwasher to Michelin-starred chef, and of Orlando’s bold decision, as a manager, to support her from the very beginning.María Marte’s cuisine stands for an innovative concept that melds contemporary cooking methods with Caribbean elements to create a fascinating Mediterranean-Latin-American fusion. Outstanding flavour combinations and original presentation are her trademark and, in collaboration with her sponsor Luisa Orlando, managing director of El Club Allard, she is realising her dream of young, exciting cuisine coupled with superior dining culture.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 on a job as a cleaner and dishwasher at El Club Allard, though her ambition from the outset was to become a chef. Defying hurdles and prejudices, she managed to fight her way into a job as kitchen assistant.


Already in 2006, she became the right-hand woman to 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 to 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. Moreover, Marte is the only female in Latin America today to hold two Michelin stars.“This story is like a fairytale. But it’s also much more than that: these two ladies have shown that innovation and quality will always prevail. Today, we would like to honour the courage and unbending will with which María Marte and Luisa Orlando have pursued their goals by presenting them with the ECKART 2017,” said Eckart Witzigmann, after whom the awards are named, as he explained the reasons for the jury’s choice.



    Culture of Living

    Christine & Michel Guérard, ***

    Eugénie les Bains    


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. “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.” 


    Creative Responsibility

    Tiffany Persons, Los Angeles


In 2006, the well-known marketing and music-video director Tiffany Persons travelled to Sierra Leone for the first time to film a documentary. She spent three months living in the rural, diamond-mining mountain town of Kono, where she witnessed the community’s extremely difficult living and working conditions for herself. Impressed by the enthusiasm and cheerfulness of local people in the most adverse of 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.


The texts on the award winners refer to the time of the award.


Andreas Caminada, ***Fürstenau

At 33 years of age, Andreas Caminada became Switzerland’s youngest three-star chef and has maintained this high standard at his restaurant at Schloss Schauenstein in Fürstenau since 2010. The top chef from the canton of Graubünden focuses on the original flavour of seasonal alpine products. Unexpected combinations and methods of presentation ultimately unite all elements to form a culinary whole. Since 2016, his foundation “Fundaziun Uccelin” (Romansh for “little bird”) has nurtured individual chef and service talents from home and abroad with the aim of guaranteeing high-quality Swiss cuisine over the long term. 

Dominique Crenn, **San Francisco

Dominique Crenn combines creativity with tremendous culinary craftsmanship and an inner love of precision. She firmly believes that food can touch people in the same way as a poem, a song or a painting. The menu proposed by French-born Crenn is a poem in itself, with individual dishes hiding behind names such as “Walking deep in the woods”, “The rawness of those soft, swimming creatures” or “As the earth might have something to spare”. In 2012, Crenn became the first female chef in the United States to earn two Michelin stars for her “Atelier Crenn”. In 2016, she was named the “World’s Best Female Chef” in “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” list. 

The Munich Viktualienmarkt

With around 110 sellers of top-quality food items, delicacies and flowers, the Munich Viktualienmarkt is one of the city’s flagships. Eckart Witzigmann: “The Viktualienmarkt has always been a source of inspiration for me – a place where you find time for a lively conversation. Top-quality products form the basis for good food – and this is what you find above all else at the Viktualienmarkt.” Representing the market as a whole were Elke Fett, from the dried-flower stand “Duftschmankerl”, Manuela Wilkerson, from “Teltschik’s sausage stand”, and Marina Bröckelt, from the delicatessen “Marina’s Feinkost”. Fett: “We are delighted that international cuisine at the highest level is so committed to regional and local products. We are proud of our work and our origins.” 

CREATIVE RESPONSIBILITY AND ENJOYMENT Creative Responsibility and Enjoyment (endowed by the BMW Group with 10,000 euros)

Sebastian Copeland, Los Angeles

Sebastian Copeland is a polar explorer, environmental activist, adventurer and award-winning photographer. He has addressed the United Nations and World Affairs Council and released books and films explicitly warning against the impact of climate change – in the Polar Regions and around the world. In February 2017, Copeland will embark on an expedition, traveling from the Canadian mainland to the North Pole across the ice on skis. This will probably be the last expedition on the ice, since the Arctic icecap has shrunk by more than half over the past 30 years, making future crossings impossible. 

Julia und Tobias Moretti, Ranggen

Actor Tobias Moretti and his wife, Julia, lead a secluded life on a 400-year-old mountain farm on 35 hectares in Tyrol. The couple is actively involved in regional value creation, striving for a long-term increase in general quality awareness and to preserve biodiversity through traditional breeds. For example, the Morettis raise Tyrol’s oldest breed of cattle, the “Tux-Zillertaler” for their own marketing-line. “This award is a great honour for us – but, most of all, it is a call for us to continue in the same direction,” said Julia Moretti in her acceptance-speech. Her husband Tobias Moretti firmly believes there is a future for alpine agriculture: “We were frustrated that even though originality and authenticity have become buzzwords for modern society, it has not been possible to live from that kind of agriculture until now. We wanted to come up with an alternative concept and I think we succeeded.”


 The texts on the award winners refer to the time of the award.


Massimo Bottura: ***a humanist in the kitchen

Massimo Bottura’s individualist approach to the art of cookery fascinates and inspires, but also polarises and bemuses people – just like great art and powerful stories.
Bottura, born in 1962, opened “Trattoria del Campazzo” in his home town of Modena, Italy in 1987, attracting the attention of renowned chef Alain Ducasse. In 1992, he moved to New York, where he met his future wife, curator Lara Gilmore, who became one of the main influences on Bottura’s cooking style, along with French haute cuisine.
“Massimo Bottura likes to tell stories. He sees images or has a certain smell or a specific taste in mind or remembers a scene, where other top chefs follow a philosophy or believe in a system,” the ECKART jury wrote in its decision. In 1995, Bottura opened “Osteria Francescana” in Modena, for which he won his first Michelin star in 2002 and a second in 2005.
Tradition, contemporary art and the highest level of quality inspire his creative and innovative dishes. According to the jury, “Bottura offers a deeply humanistic cuisine at the highest level that recognises and respects tradition and uses the latest techniques to create a poetic experience for all the senses. No one pursues this concept as consistently as he does.” In 2011, “Osteria Francescana” earned its third Michelin star – for a cooking style that combines a down-to-earth approach with the avant-garde to modernise the cuisine of Emilia Romagna at the highest possible level with poetry, creativity and intelligence. 

Michel  Troigros:*** a magical gift

The Troigros family has defined, and continues to define, fine cuisine unlike almost anyone else in the world – and seems to have the magical gift of passing on traditions from generation to generation, by fanning the flames and discarding the ash.
Brothers Jean (born in 1926) and Pierre Troisgros (born in 1928) were both apprenticed at the best establishments in Paris. They went on to make the “Hotel Moderne” opened by their parents in Roanne in 1930 famous as “Les Frères Troigros”. In 1955, the restaurant earned its first and, in 1965, its second, Michelin star. The Troigros brothers became leading exponents of “nouvelle cuisine”, with their restaurant maintaining its top three-star Michelin rating since 1968. With deep roots in the region, the family offers a modern, seasonal and cosmopolitan cuisine unconcerned with short-lived trends. After training in Grenoble, Pierres Troigros’ son Michel (born in 1958) travelled the culinary world with his wife Marie-Pierre. Upon returning to Roanne, he worked alongside his uncle Jean until his death in 1983 and has run the family business together with his wife since his father Pierre retired in 1993. His brother Claude (born in 1956) manages the Troigros restaurant in Rio de Janeiro and other outlets in the United States, while his sister Anne-Marie runs the Restaurant Gravelier in Bordeaux. The children of Michel and Marie-Pierre Troigros – the fourth generation of Marion (born in 1983), César (born in 1986) and Léo (born in 1993) – are currently completing their training. “Uncompromising on quality, innovative in their methods and with tremendous respect for the guest, the Troigros family stands for a unique combination of abilities and virtues,” according to the ECKART jury. 

Pillars of the new German gastronomy


Hospitality, culinary art and viniculture are the pillars of contemporary German gastronomy. The award therefore goes to Ulrike Thieltges, Melanie Wagner and Klaus Erfort, as representatives of the best virtues of the new German gastronomy.

Ulrike Thieltges: the soul of hospitality Warm hospitality with the utmost discretion is a good way to describe the work of Ulrike Thieltges. Together with her husband, Helmut, she has made Waldhotel Sonnora in the Eifel region an oasis of indulgence, boasting three Michelin stars since 1999. Thieltges is more than just a congenial host – she is the “soul” of the establishment, translating the concept of hospitality into reality in exemplary fashion. The hotel’s unique location in the lovely Eifel countryside, its warm welcome and fine dining ensure a fantastic experience that guests will remember.

Klaus Erfort***: truth on a plate Klaus Erfort (born in 1972) has a passion for combining traditional and modern elements in perfect harmony. His “Gästehaus Erfort” in Saarbrücken, which opened in 2002, earned its third Michelin star in 2008 – the same year that restaurant guide “Gault & Millau” named him chef of the year. “Truth is presented on the plate,” says Erfort, who believes in a modern, purist cuisine that refines tradition to create a supremely elegant and pleasurable experience.

Melanie Wagner: an advocate for wine Few can match the professional expertise of Melanie Wagner. The daughter of restaurant owners, Wagner served her apprenticeship as a winegrower in the Kaiserstuhl region, followed by a spell as assistant sommelier at Franz Keller’s “Schwarzer Adler” restaurant. Since 2005, as the restaurant’s head sommelier, Melanie Wagner has not only helped wine connoisseurs from around the world choose from restaurant’s legendary wine menu, but often dazzled guests with suggestions to expand their culinary horizons. This knowledge, and the ability to share it in a calm and charming manner, make Melanie Wagner an extremely exciting and inspiring advocate of modern wine culture.


Claus Meyer: fighting poverty with enjoyment

“Good food is meant to be shared” – this is the motto according to which Claus Meyer is changing the culinary world. The co-founder of the restaurant” Noma” in Copenhagen, grew up in a family where food had to be fast and inexpensive. “By the time I was 15, I already weighed 98 kilos,” he remembers. However, he discovered a totally new attitude to enjoyment, food and life in general as a teenager in France, working for a baker and “traiteur”, or caterer, who was like a second father to him. Aged 20, Meyer (born in 1963) returned to Copenhagen with the ambitious aim of changing food culture in Denmark. He studied at the renowned Copenhagen Business School, where he is now a professor, and founded more than a dozen companies, including restaurants and delicatessens. He also campaigned for better school meals and became a TV chef. By 2002, he employed more than 500 people.In 2003, he opened “Noma” with chef de cuisine Réne Redzepi and other partners –heralding the birth of Nordic Cuisine. As well as experimenting with new and radical regional cuisine, “Noma” also provides Meyer with a platform for social commitment. His mission: to change people’s understanding of nutrition.Meyer is also pursuing this mission through other projects, notably his “Melting Pot” foundation, which helps people set up their own businesses in the field of gastronomy – thereby combatting poverty through enjoyment. “Whether in Denmark, Bolivia or soon the US, Claus Meyer combines responsibility, creativity and enjoyment in an unprecedented way,” as recognised by the ECKART 2015 jury, reflecting the vision that: “Food has the potential to take people to a higher level.”


The texts on the award winners refer to the time of the award.


Shuzo Kishida: ***“The most important ingredient of cooking is honesty."



Shuzo Kishida is a gentle revolutionary. He received his education in highly renowned French restaurants in Japan, before he went on to continue his career in France from the year 2000 onwards. His path led him to several absolute top-class chefs. In 2003, he worked at the famous L’Astrance in Paris, where he became sous-chef only a year later. Kishida returned to Tokyo in 2005, where he has worked at the restaurant Quintessence since 2006. In 2008, he received three Michelin stars as the youngest star-chef worldwide at the time.

At a first glance, his creations seem familiar, just like his credo:
– Respect for food
– Strict adherence to cooking processes
– Maximum precision in seasoning.

The revolutionary impact of his art unfolds at meal-time. Kishida creates culinary harmony with an almost poetic manifestation. By combining the purity of Japanese cuisine with the finesse of French cuisine, Kishida brings the best foods to their utmost expression. The result is the most innovative fusion of two traditional cooking cultures, the “quintessence” of their culinary ideas and philosophies.


The theme of harmony is even enhanced in Kishida’s restaurant Quintessence by the corresponding wines. Europe’s wine culture is highly esteemed in Japan, but exists in a world of its own, parallel to the traditionally oriented haute cuisine. Kishida and his art of cookery manage to honour wine and its history in an entirely new context and on the highest possible level. 


Heinz Reitbauer, Sr.  „Everything in good time. Not everything at every time.“ Heinz Reitbauer, Jr.: „I want to change the world in positive way.“



Heinz Reitbauer is a radical in the most positive sense of the word. He was radical in his aspirations, when he took over a modest corner eatery in 1970 and transformed it first into a comfortable tavern, then into a world-class restaurant – with the utmost passion and maximum use of resources. Reitbauer and his wife Margarethe used the money raised in the first few years for educational culinary trips to France. Employees were sent to the land of the role models as well. The efforts paid off – in 1992, their house was rated best restaurant in Austria.

Yet, Heinz Reitbauer never forgot his Styrian roots and in 1996 also opened the Steirereck am Pogusch, an additional restaurant at the Pogusch, a remote alpine pass in Upper Styria. Within a short span of time, the tavern became a centre of authentic culinary delight and continues to shape the gastronomy of Styria and far beyond. It is considered the best alpine tavern in the world. Radically regional, but with a strong ability to see the bigger picture. The best food of the region is served on the massive wooden tables: alpine veal, from head to toe, slaughtered by the restaurant itself, venison, freshwater fish – prepared in a simple, authentic and self-evident manner, served with a down-to-earth and affectionately-attentive hospitality.

In 2005, the restaurant Steirereck moved into the former dairy in Vienna’s City Park. Heinz Reitbauer jr., who up until then had been cooking at the Pogusch, took the position of chef de cuisine. Heinz Reitbauer sr. and Margarethe have been running the tavern in Styria ever since. Heinz Reitbauer was born in Vienna and is at home in the world. He started his education in his parent’s business, then trained under Alain Chapel (Mionnay), a pioneer of the “Nouvelle Cuisine”, under Anton Mosimann (London) and under Joël Robuchon (Paris). Since spring 2005, he is the head chef of the “Steirereck”. Here in Vienna’s City Park he took a two-pronged approach: on the ground floor, in the Meierei im Stadtpark, he offers an uncomplicated bistro-cuisine with high-quality food standards. A lot of things in the Meierei revolve around the theme of milk – not so much a homage to the former function of the building, but a tribute to the big tradition of the milk industry in the whole of the alpine area and beyond.

On the first floor, Heinz Reitbauer celebrates his art of cookery, which subsists on the special appreciation of the products and respectful conduct. He combines the best food products and highest art of cookery to create one of the most innovative cuisines in the world. Heinz Reitbauer is one of the most dedicated exponents of a new generation of high-class chefs, who accept social responsibility with their work. When he took over the Steirereck, there were five varieties of sea fish and one freshwater fish on the menu, today it is the other way around. Authentic produce and variety are the prerequisites of Reitbauer’s work, which he regards as threatened by the global tendencies to standardization. He thus commits himself to biodiversity. Reitbauer regards decrees like the seed regulation as a dangerous cut in variety: “We are being robbed”, he analyses the situation concisely. In an almost humble manner, he subordinates his work to a bigger context when he says: “High-class gastronomy is not the measure of the gastronomic quality of a country, but the products as well as the restaurants who prepare them.”


Mick Hucknall: „Food is life.“



As lead singer of Simply Red, Mick Hucknall, born in 1960, touched the hearts of his fans with his Soul music. He is a great musician and a man, who enjoys a high standard of living himself and is always committed to various projects to promote quality and sustainability. Grown up in Manchester in modest circumstances, he has been supporting the SOS-Children’s Villages since many years. Alongside his career, Hucknall, together with the actors Johnny Depp, Sean Penn and John Malkovich, established the Man Ray in Paris in 1998 – a bar-restaurant named after the surrealist all-round-artist Man Ray.More branches opened in New York and London.

Since 2000, he grows vine at the Mount Etna. His vineyard “Il Cantante” (“The singer”) focuses on local, traditional grape varieties and his wines are internationally accepted. Hucknall on his commitment: “It is an effort to strengthen the communities and to improve the reputation of certain regions so that they become more interesting economically and attract more business-people.” In Sicily, he certainly succeeded, because wine from the Etna region continues to be in high demand.

Hucknall is involved in projects at the other end of Europe as well: on a large estate on the River Finn in the north of Ireland, he supports the conservation of wild salmon that spawns in the upper reaches of the river. Hucknall’s credo: “It is important for me to give something back to the community. There are so many people in the world who need help in order to take a step forwards. I help by ensuring that things can grow.”

CREATIVE RESPONSIBILITY AND ENJOYMENT                                                

Jon Rose: „It’s all about access.“



Even when he was a small child, Jon Rose’s favourite element was water. Grown up in Laguna Beach (California), he started a career as a professional surfer when he was 17 years old and turned into a superstar on the waves. For 13 years he travelled the world as a professional athlete. He loved the thrill, always searching for the perfect wave.Surfing brought him to far-away lands and remote coastal regions. Back then he realized that these regions had one thing in common: no clean water for drinking and cooking. His father Jack had raised Jon’s awareness for the issue of drinking water: the carpenter had constructed collection vessels for rainwater in Africa.

“Clean water for every single person who needs it” – Jon Rose’s mission is as simple as it is convincing. After witnessing the catastrophic situation after the earthquake in Padang (Indonesia), he put all his energy into this idea. Jon Rose describes the situation: “The main problem of the destroyed city was the lack of clean water. They could not even clean out wounds.”

And so the project “waves4water” was born. The creative approach: unlike other projects, “waves4water” did not develop a cleaning system of its own but uses simple, inexpensive filters that fit into every luggage and can therefore be easily distributed. “The idea is not to have one person transport 100 filters into the areas, where clean water is needed”, Rose explains, “but to have hundreds of travellers each distribute ten filters.” This is a modern social network, which in the meantime has acquired thousands of supporters who live creative responsibility. This “humanitarian guerrilla tactic” (Rose) already helped many victims of earthquakes and tsunamis in Haiti, Japan, Pakistan and Brazil, as well as victims of hurricane Sandy, quickly and efficiently.

Homepage von Jon Rose


The texts on the award winners refer to the time of the award.



   Joël Robuchon. The “King of chefs” has left gourmets around the world open-mouthed


The ECKART 2013 for the Art of Cookery has been won by one of the most famous chefs on the planet. Frenchman Joël Robuchon currently plies his trade in Paris, London, Tokyo, New York, Macau, Las Vegas, Hong Kong and Monaco. So as well as the title of “Chef of the Century”, bestowed upon him by Gault & Millau in 1994, Robuchon can also be described as very much a “chef of the world”. PDF Download



    Kevin Fehling.***A new culinary era


Kevin Fehling has been awarded the ECKART 2013 for Innovation. He likes to surprise guests at La Belle Epoque restaurant in the Columbia Hotel, Travemünde (northern Germany) with his approach to cooking and treat them to taste experiences they will never have encountered before. “Open-minded cooking executed with great creativity and absolute perfection” is how Kevin Fehling, who became Germany’s youngest three-Michelin-star chef at the age of at 35, describes his concept. PDF Download



    Martina Gedeck. An actress who embodies naturalness, realism and sensibility


As the eponymous heroine in MOSTLY MARTHA, a head chef who learns about life and love the hard way, Martina Gedeck did more in that one role to develop a culture of living than some actors have achieved in an entire career. Directed by Sandra Nettelbeck, the film proved an unexpected box-office hit on its release 12 years ago. PDF Download



Alex Atala.*** Pioneer of South American haute cuisine



Alex Atala  is certainly not your typical top chef. As a teenager he worked as a DJ in an underground club in his hometown of Sao Paulo in Brazil, before embarking aged 19 on an apprenticeship at the Namur Hotel School in Belgium. He opened his ambitious restaurant D.O.M. in Sao Paulo in 1999. And now the Brazilian has won the ECKART 2013 for Creative Responsibility and Enjoyment, an award that comes with a purse of €10,000 from the BMW Group.

Homepage of Alex Atala

PDF Download


The texts on the award winners refer to the time of the award.



    Andoni Luis Aduriz, **Mugaritz, San Sebastián

Andoni Luis Aduriz is considered one of the best avantgarde cooks. In an impressive way he avails himself of the achievements of modern technology for his cuisine. He is particularly famous for his sensitive handling of herbs and vegetables.



    Shalom Kadosh, Jerusalem


Shalom Kadosh works with great passion in Israel, which is among the countries with perhaps the most varied cuisine, bringing together influences from 70 cultures. His dream: creating peace with good food.




Peter Kubelka, Vienna


Peter Kubelka, Austrian experimental filmmaker and artist, is one of the first to explicitly teach cooking at an art academy. He considers cooking the oldest of all visual arts.





The texts on the award winners refer to the time of the award.

The International Eckart Witzigmann Award is awarded in partnership with the Gastronomy Academy of Germany (GAD). The award winners in 2011 continue the series of outstanding award winners of the past eight years, such as Ferran Adrià, Marc Haeberlin, Thomas Keller, Frédy Girardet, Harald Wohlfahrt, Dieter Müller, Anne-Sophie Pic, Hiroyuki Hiramatsu, Alice Waters, Juan Mari and Elena Arzak, Vincent Klink, and HRH Prince Charles of Wales, Carlo Petrini, Günter Grass, Dieter Kosslick and the artists Daniel Spoerri, Tomi Ungerer and Dieter Krieg.


Nadia und Antonio Santini, ***Dal Pescatore, Canneto sull’Oglio

Together with their family, Nadia and Antonio Santini have made the “Dal Pescatore” in Lombardy – which they run with heart and soul and an awareness of local products – into an institution in Italy, or in fact in Europe. The gourmet country inn, opened by their grandparents as a simple inn near Mantua in Lombardei, has become a pilgrimage site for connoisseurs from all over the world. It is considered a local stronghold of tradition at the highest possible level. Nadia’s lavish cuisine and Antonio’s grand air as host are legendary.


Daniel Boulud, *** Daniel, New York City

Born in Lyon, Daniel Boulud has been celebrating a grand cuisine with seasonal accents for more than 30 years at the focal point New York. As one of the best chefs in the world, Daniel Boulud has received the highest awards numerous times for his superlative prowess – for instance, three stars from Guide Michelin and four stars from the New York Times. In all the years, his art of cookery has never forfeited curiosity and creativity. That is the basis on which he – highly respected around the world by his colleagues – can achieve outstanding successes at his restaurants, of which there are now ten all over the world.


Claus Peter Lumpp, *** Bareiss, Mitteltal

He could already cook before he learned to read and write. His grandma knew: some day, Claus Peter will become a cook. After stations in Europe’s best restaurants, Claus Peter Lumpp took over in 1992 the task of head chef at the Hotel Bareiss in Baiersbronn, the “village of the Michelin stars” in the Black Forest. There he developed a great cuisine that brings together local identity and international class in an exemplary manner. By appreciating and making use of regional products and seasonal offerings out of deep personal conviction, he bases his great success on working in the kitchen in an ecologically sustainable manner. In this way, Claus Peter Lumpp has become a significant lifestyle ambassador.


Manfred Friedel, Munich

For more than half a century, Manfred Friedel worked, or rather exerted his influence, in the Munich hotel Königshof. He began as a page in the renowned establishment; in 1972 he became the head of the restaurant – and thus its face to the world. A man of the world who hosted the world. In his uniquely loving yet strict manner, Manfred Friedel has inspired countless young people for the service profession in the many years he has been working – and he has also conveyed this great craft and art to them. Manfred Friedel has placed his life in the service of hospitality. There are only a few like him who have cultivated such a significant culture of being a host!


Tohru Nakamura, * Munich

Tohru Nakamura was already interested as a six-year old boy in the culinary arts of both his German mother and his Japanese father. Tohru Nakamura began his apprenticeship as cook after completing his secondary education in Munich and he ended his apprenticeship as Germany’s best young chef. His career path proceeded upwards and to the north at a brisk pace: today the 27-year old is working with Sergio Herman in the “Oud Sluis” restaurant in the Netherlands. It is quite apparent that Tohru Nakamura has internalised the ever so important Japanese philosophy of life, whereby great value is placed on the quality of food products. For him dishes are best when the basic product can be clearly recognised.


Johann Willsberger, Hergiswil

Johann Willsberger is a legend in the world of the art of cooking. With his magazine “Gourmet”, at one time highly acclaimed as the world’s most beautiful culinary magazine, Johann Willsberger has shaped and at the same time documented an entire culinary epoch at the end of the last century. With his distinctive aesthetics the Swiss resident has set the highest of standards and thus accorded to dining culture the place it deserves in art.


Fritz Eichbauer, **Tantris, Munich

Fritz Eichbauer has received a number of awards and has been highly honoured for his significant contributions as a developer; he has remained closely associated with the German construction industry as its honorary president. But Fritz Eichbauer has not yet been sufficiently paid tribute to for building the “Tantris” exactly 40 years ago. Who else can Munich and the world thank for this bastion of haute cuisine?


Heinz Winkler, **Residenz, Aschau

Heinz Winkler was born in Southern Tyrol, and was the youngest cook to be awarded three stars in the Guide Michelin. At the time he was just 31 years old and, as successor to Eckart Witzigmann, chef in the restaurant “Tantris” in Munich from 1978 to 1991. Heinz Winkler not only was trained internationally himself, but he also worked indefatigably at renowned schools of cookery in Spain, Italy, the USA, Japan and Thailand. Greatly respected by his colleagues, Heinz Winkler has made a significant contribution to the excellent reputation of German haute cuisine around the world.


Hans Haas, **Tantris, Munich

The name “Tantris” means the ‘search for perfection’. For enthusiastic guests from all over the world, this Munich institution of pleasure has long arrived at harmonic perfection. For 20 years, Hans Haas, successor to Eckart Witzigmann and Heinz Winkler, has been the chef de cuisine in “Tantris”; the restaurant is a talent factory for top chefs. With great passion, just like on the very first day, Hans Haas utilises himself and his great creative potential unreservedly for and with this downright magical site of top cuisine. Hans Haas is an artist not only in the kitchen, but also as painter and sculptor. He connects in a visible way: cooking – art – culture.


The texts on the award winners refer to the time of the award.


The International Eckart Witzigmann Award is awarded in partnership with the state of Baden-Württemberg and Tourism Marketing GmbH Baden-Württemberg, who convey the topic of the land of connoiseurs in a particularly commited and successful way. The award winners in 2010 continue the series of outstanding award winners of the past five years, including Ferran Adrià, Marc Haeberlin, Thomas Keller, Frédy Girardet, Harald Wohlfahrt and Hiroyuki Hiramatsu, as well as Carlo Petrini, Günter Grass, Dieter Kosslick and Daniel Spoerri.


HRH Prince Charles of Wales, Highgrove House


HRH Prince Charles of Wales is receiving the International Eckart Witzigmann Award 2010 for his outstanding contributions to sustainable agriculture and food production. He himself practices organic farming on his estates and is a champion of biological diversity and of the protection of natural resources. Through his patronage he has helped enable the breakthrough of the idea of Terra Madre, the global network of farmers, food artisans and gastronomes. 

“There is no good kitchen without good, clean and fair products, and for this reason cooks all over the world owe him a debt of gratitude,” the certificate states.


Juan Mari Arzak und seine Tochter Elena, *** Arzak, San Sebastián


Juan Mari Arzak and his daughter Elena jointly operate the Restaurant Arzak in the Basque city of San Sebastián. Juan Marie took over the restaurant in 1967; it was founded in 1897 by his grandfather. Prior to that he had learned from famous French chefs such as Bocuse, Troisgros, Senderens, Boyer and Arrambide gelernt. His daughter Elena later also worked in famous restaurants such as Gagnaire, Bras, El Bulli and Dutournier before returning.


Vincent Klink, *Wielandshöhe, Stuttgart


Vincent Klink, chef with Michelin stars from the Wielandshöhe in Stuttgart, could also be honoured for his art of cookery, but the jury conferred him a different prize – the one for science and media. This pays tribute to his role as an opinionated communicator. The jury worded it thus: “Vincent Klink links in an outstanding and even wonderful way the craft of cooking with the crafts of writing, making music and providing television entertainment.


Cesare Giaccone, Albaretto della Torre


Cesare Giaccone has participated less in the hunt for stars and toques, but he is all the more a role model for many of the world’s great chefs. They have all made a pilgrimage to him at “Ristorante dei Cacciatori” in Alberetto della Torre, high above the vineyards of Barolo. As Thomas Keller, America’s number one chef and himself a award winner in 2006, says about him: “Cesare Giaccone is an extraordinary man with a unique culinary vision. His dishes are complex yet at the same time simple. His taste is unforgettable. Eating at his restaurant is a euphoric experience.”


Dieter Krieg (posthum)


One can take literally the prize for the art of cookery: it is about art that has something to do with eating and drinking. Award winner Dieter Krieg is considered among the most important and at the same time most unconventional painters of the second half of the 20th century. He accorded everyday objects, particularly the edible, their due place in art. Thus the jury found there were good reasons to recollect him: “In his large-scale paintings Dieter Krieg often made life’s large and small things the subject of the pictures and in an ingenious and basically cunning painting illusion transferred them to the canvas: heads of lettuce, cauliflower, pieces of meat, blossoms, flowers, French fries, eggs sunny side up.”.


The texts on the award winners refer to the time of the award.

Minister President Günther H. Oettinger honoured the accomplishments of this year’s award winners. “Each of the award winners ensure in his or her own area that a form of culture, communication and hospitality is developed from the general basic need for food.” For Baden-Württemberg, the land of connoisseurs, high quality in the wine cellar and kitchen play a key role in creating a place that is liveable and loveable. “We are pleased that the prestigious culinary prize is awarded here, underlining Baden-Württemberg’s top position in high-level gastronomy in Germany and Europa,” Minister President Günther H. Oettinger said.

The International Eckart Witzigmann Award is awarded in partnership with the state of Baden-Württemberg and Tourism Marketing GmbH Baden-Württemberg; they convey the topic of the land of connoisseurs in a particularly committed and successful manner. The award winners in 2009 continue the series of outstanding award winners of the past five years, such as Ferran Adrià, Marc Haeberlin, Thomas Keller, Frédy Girardet, Harald Wohlfahrt and Hiroyuki Hiramatsu, as well as Carlo Petrini, Günter Grass, Dieter Kosslick and Daniel Spoerri.



    Anne-Sophie Pic, ***Pic, Valence

 After her father’s death, Anne-Sophie Pic took over the restaurant in Valence. Traditionally it has been among France’s top addresses. Anne-Sophie Pic managed to receive the third Guide Michelin star as the third generation in a row, as the first woman and a lateral entrant.



    Tomi Ungerer, Straßbourg

Friend of children and storyteller, writer and songbook illustrator, caricaturist and graphic artist, social critic, cynic and toy collector, farmer and cattleman, gardener and cook, Alsatian and convinced European, roamer between worlds, a unique multi-talent, is one of the most brilliant draughtsmen in the world. And with his more than 40,000 drawings he’s also one of the most productive artists of our day. Like no other, Tomi Ungerer has recognised, appreciated, described and drawn the power of the art of cookery, and in this way he has conveyed a very important message particularly to children. Tomi Ungerer proves in an impressive way in many of his more than 150 books that the way to the heart really is through the stomach. And he also knows: humour is the best prescription



    Alice Waters, Chez Panisse, Berkeley

Alice Waters has already been cooking since the early 1970’s at her Californian gourmet restaurant “Chez Panisse”, one of the best in the USA, using French recipes in a fresh, seasonal, and biological style and with products that she buys from farmers in close proximity. With her initiative “Edible Schoolyards” to set up vegetable gardens at schools, she has given sustainable impulses to mass catering. The star chef also brought her “delicious revolution” to Washington, where she is now cultivating a vegetable garden at the White House on behalf of the president. Alice Water’s second passion is the world of film. At the beginning of the year she exchanged her place among pots and pans and in the garden with a seat on the jury of the 59th International Film Festival Berlin.



    Dieter Müller, *** Schloss Lerbach, Bergisch Gladbach

Born in Baden and spending his childhood in the Black Forest, has made it clear in his working life in a masterly way that his cooking is not artistic craft, but rather art in the wonderful world of the culinary arts. Dieter Müller became one of the best chefs in the world and he represents German haute cuisine all over the world. With his gourmet restaurant in the Schlosshotel Lerbach in Bergisch Gladbach, Dieter Müller stood for more than 16 years at the pinnacle of German cuisine, highly respected by his colleagues.


The texts on the award winners refer to the time of the award.

Witzigmann Award ceremony 2007 on 7 Jan. 2008 at the Mercedes-Benz Museum Stuttgart

All award winners of the International Eckart Witzigmann Award 2007 have one thing in common: their creative work goes far beyond what can be denoted as craftsmanship, and yet they are perfectly expert in their individual craft; on the basis of this craft, however, they have each been able to place emphasis on unique aspects and have thus created art in many different ways. They continued the series of prominent award winners of the past, such as Ferran Adrià, Marc Haeberlin, Thomas Keller and Günter Grass.



    Harald Wohlfahrt, ***Schwarzwaldstube, Tonbach

Born  in Loffenau bei Baden-Baden, has long ago reached the pinnacle of the art of cookery as the head chef of the “Schwarzwaldstube” of the hotel “Traube Tonbach” in Baiersbronn.

Even the Gault & Millau, which already declared him “Cook of the Year” in 1991 and also accords him the highest ranking in its 2007 edition, is moved: “Describing his performances of pleasure is as hopeless an endeavour as describing music in words.” Harald Wohlfahrt completed his cooking apprenticeship between 1970 and 1973 in “Mönchs Waldhotel” in Dobel, whereupon he then worked from 1974 to 1976 as commis chef at the “Stahlbad” in Baden-Baden, which has two Michelin stars, under Willi Schwank. The year 1977 led him to Eckart Witzigmann in Munich at “Tantris”, before he became deputy head chef at the newly opened “Schwarzwaldstube” of the hotel “Traube Tonbach” in 1978. And he remained loyal to the restaurant: in 1980, after an internship with Alain Chapel in Mionnay, he became head chef at the “Schwarzwaldstube”.

Wohlfahrt’s straight and yet meteoric career ascent has been accompanied by numerous prizes. He was already accorded three Michelin stars in 1992; in all the well-known restaurant guides he has the leading position, in the gourmet magazine “Der Feinschmecker” as well as in the Aral Gourmet Atlas. After Eckart Witzigmann, he is only the second cook in Germany who has been awarded the “L’Art-de-Vivre honourary prize” for his high art. Other prizes were not long in coming: in 2002 the Medal of Merit of the state of Baden-Württemberg, in 2003 the Medal of Merit of the Tourism Association and in 2005 the Federal Cross of Merit. Harald Wohlfahrt, no one doubts it, has set standards in culinary arts.

 “Describing his performances of pleasure is as hopeless an endeavour as describing music in words.” Gault & Millau



    Daniel Spoerri, Hardersdorf am Kamp, Austria

The term “the art of cookery” has a special meaning of its own in the case of Daniel Spoerri: the artist born in Romania in 1930 who grew up in Switzerland has in his works further developed and expanded culinary art to a visual art; he is the creator of “Eat Art”, inventor of the so-called “snare picture”, in which the utensils, sometimes only the remains, of a meal are fixed to the surface of the table with glue and preservatives and tipped to a vertical angle. In this way, a well-laid table becomes a picture. “The world in its randomness,” is how Hans Saner interprets Daniel Spoerri’s metamorphosis of a meal to an art object “sets snares for us that snap shut when we fix in place a segment of it.”

When everyday reality is elevated to be art, there arise new ways of seeing, new perspectives. The perceiver’s horizon is expanded. Daniel Spoerri himself, world-famous as an artist, calls himself in modest and self-deprecating fashion a “universal dabbler”.

What hasn’t he done in his life: he was a bookseller and a fruit seller, waiter and ballet dancer, choreographer and actor, director and literary figure, publisher, co-founder of the Nouveau Réalisme group in Paris, cook and host, philosopher and roamer among worlds, styles and genres, also runs a restaurant and the “Eat Art Gallery” in Düsseldorf, as well as an art garden near Seggiano in southern Tuscany. Daniel Spoerri created the impressive symbiosis of the art of cookery and visual art. As homo ludens and homo faber, as a playing and creative person, as a connoisseur of the art of living, he has himself become a work of art, his very own completely original work of art.

“Daniel Spoerri leveled out the borders between art and life and as chef, gastronome and impressario of major celebrations became an initiator of communication and of sensory happenings.” Elisabeth Hartung



    Jonnie Boer, ***De Librije, Zwolle

Jonnie Boer has helped not only his own name but also his country’s to become synonymous with culinary harmony – practically singlehandedly.

If you take into consideration that just five years ago not a single Dutch restaurant was decorated with three Michelin stars, he has ensured with tenacity and talent that that has changed: in 1993 he received for his art of cookery in the restaurant “De Librije” (The Library) in Zwolle, where he had already worked as an apprentice, the first star, in 1999 the second and in 2004 the third. Gault & Millau awards him 19.5 of 20 possible points.

That he transformed the former monastery to an outstanding and recognised restaurant, that in July 2007 he was engaged as guest chef at the restaurant “Ikarus”, Hangar-7, Salzburg – this all shows that he has been recognised and respected far beyond the borders of his home country in the meanwhile: an ambassador of taste. One secret of his success, besides his brilliant creativiy, is how firmly his feet are planted on the ground: he does not need to buy his products in France and Belgium to meet international standards; rather, he procures them himself in the neighbourhood. This does not at all mean, however, that he works provincially. He cares little for what others consider chic and “in”, he relies on his own style – and his guests thank him for it. He does not style himself a sophisticated interpreter of his own creations. He wants to convince, not to persuade. Succinctly, he calls his first cookbook “Pure”, the second one “Purer”. We know the name of the third one: “Purest”. You can’t get any better than that, nor can you climb any higher.

“Around the world I know no one who integrates the ideas of a Ferran Adrià as independently and with such an emphasis on products. At Ferran Adrià I eat brilliant ideas; with Jonnie Boer I eat brilliant products – uniquely mastered and made modern in such a way that a completely distinct style is generated.” Roland Trettl



    Hiroyuki Hiramatsu, **Tokio – *Paris

If proof were at all necessary that great cooking crosses not only country borders but also entire continents, it is provided by the Japanese chef Hiroyuki Hiramatsu.

After training in France he opened his first restaurant in Japan in 1982 – building in this way a culinary bridge between Europe and Asia. He uses this bridge not only by offering specialties with French characteristics in his Tokyo restaurant in the cosmopolitan district of Hiroo, specialities such as “foie gras de canard aux choux frisés, sauce aux truffes” and “homard rôti aux pousses d’épinards”, but also by founding a restaurant in Paris in 2001 that was awarded a Michelin star just one year later.

Today the Hiramatsu Group operates 18 restaurants: a real imperium of the culinary arts. Long ago Hiroyuki Hiramatsu was recognised as an ambassador of the French “haute cuisine” in Japan – and as a Japanese top chef in France he has become an institution. This bridge building is new – yet Hiroyuki Hiramatsu does not style himself a great innovator. Instead he sees himself grounded in a significant tradition – and he bows to the great European role models and predecessors in his metier. This is proven not only by his menu, but also in the furnishings of his restaurant in Tokyo, where the walls are decorated with photos of the great masters of the art of cookery: perhaps as an impetus, but certainly also as a self-imposed obligation.

“Culturally at home between the continents, Hiroyuki Hiramatsu provides proof that on a culinary basis such differences need not exist. He connects people of the most varied origin under the influence of exquisite taste.” Eckart Witzigmann


The texts on the award winners refer to the time of the award.


    Thomas Keller, *** Per Se, New York City; *** French Laundry, Napa Valley


Born in southern California, his love of the art of cookery began when he worked in his mother’s restaurant. His passion for cooking led Thomas Keller to France in 1983, where he laid the foundation for his global culinary career in the kitchens of Guy Savoy, Michael Pasquet, Gerard Besson, Taillevent, Le Toit de Passey, Chiberta and Le Pré Catelan.

Back in New York in 1984, he gained a high level of attention at “La Reserve” and at the restaurant “Raphael” before opening the first restaurant of his own in 1986. With the goal of running a French three Michelin star restaurant “in the countryside”, Thomas Keller bought “The French Laundry” in the heart of Napa Valley in 1994. His restaurant per se in New York is rated the best restaurant in the USA.

Today Thomas Keller is world-famous for his innovations and his complete commitment to the great art of cookery. His cookbook “The French Laundry” won many prizes, including one as the cookbook of the year.



    Dieter Kosslick, Berlin


Born in Pforzheim, Kosslick studied communications, political science and pedagogy at the Munich University. In 1979 he went to Hamburg where he worked as personal advisor, speechwriter and head of the office of mayor Hans-Ulrich Klose, and later as the press spokesman for “women’s equality”.

In 1983 he started his activity in film financing, first as managing director of the cultural Filmförderung Hamburg (Hamburg film office). In 1986 he founded there the European Low Budget Forum with “Cinema along the Alster”. In 1988 he became managing director of the Film Funds Hamburg. In 1992 the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and WDR brought Dieter Kosslick to the Rhein, where he took on the function of managing director heading up the NRW Film Foundation, which was only a year old. In 2000 Dieter Kosslick was appointed by the state of Berlin and the federal government to take over the International Film Festival Berlin (“Berlinale”).

On 1 May 2001 he began his new task as the director of the Berlinale. In 2006 he positioned the younger directors’ accompanying program “Talent Campus” under the theme of “hunger, food and taste”. Hundreds of young filmmakers were inspired in this way to produce videos on the topic of nutrition. Kosslick is a member of the Slow Food movement and cooperates with the film festival “Slowfood on film”, founded by Carlo Petrini, the 2004 Witzigmann Award Winner.



    Cornelia Poletto, *Cornelia Poletto, Hamburg


Born in Hamburg. She received her training in Aschau from 1992 to 1995 from Heinz Winkler, a chef who has three Michelin stars.

Since 2000 she has been head chef and, together with her husband Remigio, owner of the Hamburg restaurant “Poletto”. Since 2001 Cornelia Poletto has regularly received one star in the Guide Michelin for her art of cookery. The Gault & Millau has been rating her at 16 points since 2004, and she received three “F”s in the 2005-06 edition of “Feinschmecker”, which in 2003 named “Poletto” to the ten best “foreign restaurants in Germany”.



    Frédy Girardet,*** Féchy (Lausanne)


Born in Lausanne. That he was to be considered one of the truly great in his league could already be recognised in 1975, when the Gault & Millau testers awarded him their highest distinction, the “Clé d’Or”, just a few years after he took over his father’s “Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville” in Crissier.

Led by him, the restaurant became world-class: the International Herald Tribune called it “number 1 in the entire world among gourmet restaurants”. Girardet became a knight of the Legion of Honour, and his name is registered in the Larousse lexicon.

Finally in 1989 he received the highest consecration: he was named the “cook of the 20th century”. Joël Robuchon raves about him that Girardet does not bow to any fashion because he is ahead of any trends anyway. Not to know Girardet is like being a doctor without knowing who Hippocrates was.


The texts on the award winners refer to the time of the award.


    Ferran Adrià, ***El Bulli, Roses

Ferran Adrià is among the most discussed European chefs of the present day. He was born on 14 May 1962 in Santa Eulália, Barcelona province. His hobby is football. He started training in administration in order to study business economics, but he abandoned the training and got a job washing dishes in the small hotel Playafels. While serving in the military he worked as head chef of the canteen. After that he worked as a chef in renowned restaurants in Spain and France, and finally as head chef of the restaurant “el Bulli” on the Costa Brava, north of Barcelona. For months Ferran Adrià experiments with new taste combinations in his kitchen, which he calls a “laboratory”.

Until the present day Ferran Adrià has received numerous distinctions, including three Michelin stars.



    Günter Grass, Lübeck

Günter Grass is the only German author of the present day who has repeatedly and continuously made the cultural topic of eating a preferred subject of his artistic work in numerous texts and drawings. From “The Tin Drum” to “The Flounder” to poems like “Im Ei” and “Die Schweinekopfsülze” and many etchings, Grass has made apparent the anthropological, communicative and symbolic significance of eating in the Academy’s terms, both in establishing culture(s) as well as in enhancing understanding among people and in the life of the individual.

As well, in Günter Grass’s oeuvre the figures of the chef and particularly the female cook play an outstanding role as founders of culture, precisely in the Academy’s terms.

Grass has untiringly made a theme of the precondition of all culinary arts, namely the victory over hunger in the world. In his acceptance speech upon being awarded the Nobel Prize he summarises the continuing relevance of this causal aspect of all culinary arts: “This topic has remained to us … there will be tales to tell of it in the future.”

In his letter dated 2 May 2005 answering the invitation to accept the Academy Award Günter Grass wrote to the president of the Academy: “I congratulate you on the idea of founding an academy for the culinary arts.” The Academy in turn congratulates Günter Grass on his outstanding accomplishment and is proud to be able to count him among their award winners.



    Roland Trettl,  Ikarus, Hangar-7, Salzburg

Roland Trettl, born on 3 July 1971 in Bolzano, Italy, was trained at the Parkhotel Holzner in Bolzano, and later at the restaurants “Aubergine” (*** Michelin stars) and “Tantris” (** Michelin stars) in Munich, among other institutions. Thereafter, Roland Trettl worked as head chef in the “Ca’s Puers” restaurant on Majorca and as a trainer at the “Marine Terrace” restaurant in Tokyo (Japan).

Since May 2003 Roland Trettl has been head chef at the restaurant “Ikarus” at “Hangar-7”, Salzburg.


The texts on the award winners refer to the time of the award.

Awarded with the Witzigmann Award 2004 on 16 November 2004 at the Neues Schloss in Stuttgart:



    Marc Haeberlin, *** Auberge de l’Ill, Illhaeusern


Rarely have so many top chefs been guests in the Marble Hall of Stuttgart’s Neues Schloss. This is because there is finally a prize in Germany for truly great haute cuisine. The chef Marc Haeberlin was awarded the “Eckart Witzigmann Award”. For years the chef from Alsace has been running the restaurant “L’Auberge de l’Ill” in Illhäusern, which has three Michelin stars, at the very highest level. He was very moved at the festive awards ceremony. Marc Haeberlin: “I am very impressed and very honoured. We have always been closely connected with Baden-Württemberg. The first gastronomic meals that I recall were at Franz Keller in Oberbergen; whenever we went out with my father, it was always to Baden-Württemberg.” The jury, consisting of members of the Academy for the Culinary Arts, unanimously decided in favour of the 50-year old top chef, who is also linked by a deep personal friendship to the man whose name is on the prize, Eckart Witzigmann. “The cook of the century” learned quite a number of years ago at  Haeberlin the father.

His father Paul is all the more happy about the jury’s decision for this reason. Eckart Witzigmann: Marc Haeberlin is of course, one can say, well on his way. By now he is known in France as well, and I consider the “Auberge de l’Ill” unique in its manner. It is simply an Eldorado, great cuisine and hospitality, and because guests are treated accordingly with heart and soul.




    Carlo Petrini, Bra


The award winner selected for the category science and media is Carlo Petrini, founder and president of Slow Food and also the initiator of the Università di Scienze Gastronomiche in Pollenzo. Alois Wierlacher, chairman of the German Academy of the Culinary Arts, announced that the Academy and the new Italian Università di Scienze Gastronomiche have signed a partnership contract. Wierlacher: “I have the honour and the great joy of officially announcing the unanimous decision of the board: the International Eckart Witzigmann Award of the German Academy for the Culinary Arts goes to the founder of the Slow Food movement and of the university mentioned earlier, Mr Carlo Petrini.”




    Prof. Karl Heinz Hänssler, DHBW Ravensburg


Prof. Karl Heinz Hänssler, rector of the Cooperative State University at the Ravensburg campus, has been setting standards for tourism, the hotel business and gastronomy in the academic sector for many years, cultivating the younger generation in the field at a high level.