The winners of the ECKART 2014, an award by chef of the century celebrating outstanding achievements, have been announced: This year’s awards will go to Japan, Austria and England, awarded at a gala ceremony on 22 October 2014 at the BMW Museum in Munich.
Shuzo Kishida, Japan – Innovation
The young Japanese three-Michelin-star chef Shuzo Kishida from Tokyo receives the 2014 ECKART for innovation. The jury says in their statement: “Only seeing images of Kishida’ dishes does not recognise the revolutionary, poetic and innovative power of his work. It unfolds in his food: French and Japanese cuisine are combined with top quality products resulting in an innovative fusion of two traditional cooking cultures.”
Heinz and Heinz Reitbauer, Austria – Great art of cooking
Reitbauer, junior is “one of the most committed members of a new generation of chefs who take social responsibility”, says the jury about the award. Reitbauer studied with Alain Chapel in Mionnay, one of the pioneers and forerunners of contemporary cooking, with Anton Mosimann in London and with Joël Robuchon in Paris. Since 2005 he is chief patron of Steirereck in Vienna. Reitbauer emphasises “authentic products and diversity. Counteracting the global trend of unifying cuisine, especially in the EU, the jury recognises his commitment to biodiversity.” Eckart Witzigmann says: “He combines the finest ingredients and the highest culinary art in one of the most modern cuisines in the culinary world today.”
Heinz Reitbauer, senior, is a radical. He made his traditional guest house Steirereck into a world-class restaurant, and passed it onto the next generation by going “back to the roots”. The jury justified the award as follows: “It’s The Steirereck in Styria that is currently the best Almgasthof in the world. Heinz Reitbauer brings to the plate what nature offers: chicken, carp, goulash – simple, natural, logical and served with a hospitality that is unique.”
Mick Hucknall, England – Life Culture
The singer Mick Hucknall – formerly Simply Red – will be awarded the 2014 ECKART for Life Culture. Hucknall lives and appreciates not only a high standard of living, but also demonstrates constant commitment to it. For over a decade he grew wine on mount Etna. He focuses on local, traditional varieties and his wines are appreciated by connoisseurs the world over. In Ireland, he currently supports a project that aims to preserve a river with wild salmon. The jury was impressed not only by his commitment but also his motto: “There are so many people in the world who need help to take a step to get on. I’ll help by taking responsibility to grow things. I want to give something back to society. It is an attempt to strengthen communities and improve the reputation of certain regions, so that they are economically more interesting.”
Previous ECKART winners include Daniel Boulud (New York City), HRH Charles Prince of Wales (Highgrove), Elena Arzak (San Sebastian), Anne-Sophie Pic (Valence), Harald Wohlfahrt (Tonbach), Dieter Kosslick (Berlin), Ferran Adrià (Barcelona), Marc Haeberlin (Illhaeusern), Joël Robuchon (Paris).