Kochfreunde.com is the culinary magazine of Oliver Wagner. Here, everything revolves around the almost most beautiful thing in the world: good food. The focus ranges from reports on exciting restaurants to recipes from his own kitchen, cookbooks and culinary gadgets.


Kochfreunde.com ist das kulinarisches Magazin von Oliver Wagner. Hier dreht sich alles rund um die beinahe schönste Sache der Welt: Gutes Essen. Dabei reicht der Fokus von Berichten über spannende Restaurants bis hin zu Rezepten aus der eigenen Küche, Kochbücher und kulinarische Gadgets.


Conferences in Holland are fabulous. At least that’s my experience from five years of Picnic (between 2006 and 2010 this was by far the most likeable and also the most exciting digital conference in terms of content, held in Amsterdam) and very recently, the Chefs®evolution 2014 .

The dutch avant-garde cuisine festival, is the subtitle of the event that took place in Zwolle, the Netherlands, on the beautiful area between De Librije*** and De Spiegel theater. Organized, as last year, by Jonnie and Thérèse Boer in close cooperation with Thomas and Carola Ruhl of Port Culinaire.

The protagonists

The lineup, i.e. the sheer quantity, the selection – but above all the quality of the speakers, was truly exceptional this year. The spectrum broad and the nature and content of the presentations highly diverse.

René Redzepi** Noma, Copenhagen, No. 1 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
Massimo Bottura*** Osteria Francescana, Italy, No. 3 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
Grant Achatz*** Restaurant Alinea, USA, No. 9 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
Björn Frantzén** Restaurant Frantzén, Stockholm, No. 23 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
Richard Ekkebus** Amber, Hong Kong, No. 24 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
Jonnie & Thérèse Boer*** Restaurant De Librije, Holland, No. 29 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
Quique Dacosta*** Quique Dacosta, Spain, No. 41 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
Sang Hoon Degeimbre** Restaurant L’Air du Temps, Belgium
Tim Raue** Restaurant Tim Raue, Berlin, No. 76 Top 100 Restaurants
Dave Beran Restaurant Next, Chicago, USA

The plates

Among the exhibitors and sponsors of the event was APIC, which has developed a box specifically for food photography. With this equipment, the following photos were taken right after the plates were created and uploaded to the livestream.

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Even though I was only able to attend the first day of the event, I took away a lot. And by that I don’t just mean cheese and ghee from the farmer’s market, but thoroughly interesting insights into the philosophy of the artists behind the stove. Many of the presentations revolved around issues of creativity, but also ways to find and further develop one’s own signature. Exciting – and in many ways transferable to completely different industries and processes.

I was particularly fascinated by the presentations on Sunday by Massimo Bottura, Tim Raue and Dave Beran. Beran explained the concept of Next in great detail. Both in terms of changing the entire setting every 16 weeks: a new menu, a new visual theme, and (usually associated with that) the purchase of $10,000+ worth of dishes. Beran also took a close look at the ticketing system used at Next and Alinea, through which reservations are sold. In my article Table Reservation 2.0 I have already highlighted the concept behind it.

Tim Raue, who displayed quite surprising rampaging qualities, not only talked about the culinary concept of his restaurants, but also repeatedly let business details slip through. As a result, the Königsberger meatballs at Soup Populaire have now become his company’s cash cow. Just like the Peking duck, which is not included in his classic menu, but is booked as a matter of course by almost 85% of guests – and thus increases sales. Through it all, Raue left his sous chef Christian Singer to prepare three impressive dishes.

Finally, Massimo Bottura chose a completely different, calmer and very open way of speaking. Oscillating between philosophical reflection and motivational impulses, Bottura described his career, his culinary concept and explained the history of some of his signature dishes at Osteria Francescana. A very sympathetic and empathetic performance that not only whets the appetite for the Osterica, but also for Bottura’s book“Never trust a skinny italian chef“, which will be published in October.


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