Get out of the gray workday and recharge your creative batteries. Meet old and new acquaintances, listen to exciting lectures and integrate new impulses into your own work. This is what almost all conferences strive for. Few succeed as well as the chief revolution in Zwolle.
Already for the third time this conference took place a few days ago. Organized once again by Jonnie Boer, who runs his three Michelin-starred restaurant De Librije right next to the De Spiegel theater, and by Carola and Thomas Ruhl of Port Culinaire, who also host the Chefsache in Cologne.
The crowd is mixed, the location great thanks to the surrounding farmer’s market and the many small excellent food stalls. And the line-up of performing chefs indeed sensational. Rarely does one have the opportunity to get such a comprehensive look at the creative work and current ideas from leading restaurants around the world.
Jonnie Boer ***
Restaurant De Librije, Netherlands, No. 38 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
The host opened the round of lectures. So that the audience could not only listen to the theory, a wonderful little box with selected ideas and products from his kitchen was distributed to each guest in the audience. Great idea. Thus, while Jonnie Boer philosophized about a fermented bell pepper juice, one could smell the small sample in the box and convince oneself of the pleasant acidity and the perfectly captured aroma. For further experiments in the kitchen at home, I found a jar of kombucha base from De Librije. He also showed many exciting and current creations from his kitchen.
Magnus Ek **
Oaxen Krog, Sweden
While Nordic Cusine is still on the rise worldwide, Magnus Ek is virtually one of the fathers of this movement. Even before Noma & Co appeared on the scene, he was already cooking a local cuisine with products he gathered himself, fermenting and following the traditions of the region. First on the small island of Oaxen, which is still the name of the restaurant. Economically, however, this was not sustainable and reason enough to move the restaurant to Copenhagen. His cuisine is strongly influenced by the products from his own garden. Always strictly seasonal character and harvested every day very fresh.
Eneko Atxa ***
Azurmendi, Spain, No. 16 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
I was somewhat irritated by Eneko Atxa’s presentation. I was particularly excited about this one. So many and so different reports I have read about the Azurmendi in the past. But he did not succeed in answering my questions. He went into much more detail about all of his restaurant’s awards and collaborations. From contributions to cancer research to a close collaboration with MIT, his reports and accompanying bullet points of PowerPoint slides ranged. Many videos about the restaurant and its concept as a culinary experience park followed, pouring in an almost inexhaustible amount of praise. Of course, you can do it that way. At least for me, this seemed a bit strange. And so does not really increase my interest in visiting Spain. Nevertheless, it is exciting to see a protagonist of this kind of Spanish avant-garde live.
Mauro Colagreco **
Mirazur Restaurant, France, No. 6 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
Mauro Colagreco is quite different. He whirled between pans and pots, cooked some sensational sauces and dishes and kept telling little scenes around the philosophy of Mirazur. Exciting, entertaining and very inspiring. Above all through the clarity of the dishes, the focus on the excellent products and the constant effort to stage them in the best possible way.
White Rabbit, Russia, No. 18 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
Russia may not be the first destination on your culinary map. Which is more than a pity and may need correction. Vladimir Mukhin has found his creative identity. Following in the footsteps of Russian tradition, he wanders between Europe and Asia, continuing in the footsteps of Russian cuisine. For many years, this was barely existent and often became an identity-less uniform cuisine with far too much mayonnaise due to a centrally controlled product policy, reports the head of the White Rabbit. Today Vlad serves up countless varieties of local caviar, works a lot with different products around traditional bread, buys fish from the various Russian coasts – and is also a real entertainer.
Rasmus Kofoed ***
Geranium, Denmark, No. 28 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
What a great talk. Rasmus Kofoed is not only a sensational cook (after all, he has won three Bocuse d’or awards: bronze, silver, and gold) and his team to three stars – he’s also quite excellent at telling it and captivating the audience. In addition – and I found this a very likeable trait – he couldn’t keep his fingers off the plate for any of the dishes he presented and tasted again himself, explaining taste and texture. And made life difficult for the photographers, who can thus hardly photograph a plate untouched.
Joachim Wissler ***
Vendôme, Germany, No. 35 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
Joachim Wissler reaches a very informative and comprehensive presentation. Relaxed and casual, always up for a joke, he moves on stage – and almost as if in passing, sensational creations emerge, intelligently thought out, precisely worked and explained in detail. Whether the Gillardeau oyster in white beer foam, the Coquilles St. Jacques in blue coconut broth or the veal heart with artichoke and eggplant. Great.
Tanja Grandits **
Stucki, Switzerland, Chef of the Year 2014
Tanja Grandits won the heart of the audience not only with the two delicious snacks she handed out to all the guests in the auditorium, but above all with her very detailed and personal talk, with lots of insights into the cuisine in Basel and lots of background information on the monochromatic plates that have become her unmistakable signature.
Virgilio Martinez *
Central, Peru, No. 4 World’s 50 Best Restaurants
The other day I already presented the sometimes spectacular videos from Central. And it was in this style that Virgilio reported on products and dishes from Peru. He showed many products, which you certainly can not get hold of in our country. The country’s cuisine in Peru differs dramatically, depending on the altitude of each region. This theme was recently incorporated into a menu at Central, as a tribute to this diversity within a country.The next edition of Chefs Revolution will take place in 2018 – and I highly recommend attending. Attention: Also this year the tickets were sold out in no time.
All photos of the dishes and plates were taken with the Apicbase system.