Germany could look to many countries in the world, as examples of how to effectively promote relations between celebrated and fashionable chefs, in order to communicate a new vision of values.
Denmark is a prime example, particularly the local food culture of Copenhagen, most effectively represented by René Redzepi, or Australia, where chefs like Peter Gilmore and Ben Shewry are masters of promoting their philosophy worldwide.
Could Berlin reach such heights? The first Terroir event in Berlin, sponsored by S.Pellegrino, invited top chefs, restaurateurs, journalists and bloggers to answer this question.
Is Berlin the new Copenhagen?
Through the food symposium Terroir, in Toronto, Arlene Stein has been bringing together the most eminent names in gastronomy for the past 10 years.
The objective is to enable a special kind of culinary exchange and in Berlin guests were treated to tastings, workshops, meetings and a final dinner with top chefs, including Eben Holmboe Bang, Mark Best, Jeremy Charles and Amanda Cohen.
A conversation with a S. Pellegrino Young Chef finalist
Matthias Walter (pictured above), winner of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 Germany-Austria regional final was also in attendance. The young chef spoke about his personal impressions of the competition, as well as his own route to the grand final in Milan. He talked particularly of the important role of his chef Mentor Karlheinz Hauser.
Innovation in a divided city
There were many other prominent guests at this symposium. Pat Meurling, one of the biggest foodies in Berlin, charmingly hosted the first discussion group with Cynthia Barcomi and Duc Ngo. Both have stamped their marks on the city with their epicurean concepts.
In their discussion they agreed that quality and authenticity were of primary importance for Berlin’s successful transformation into a food metropolis.
The future of gastronomy in Berlin
Stefanie Rothenhöfer from the Food Entrepreneurs Club provided a gastronomic overview of the latest developments in fine dining in the German capital. The city’s restaurants have a total of 26 stars in the Michelin Guide, and these sit alongside food markets, diners and cafés for all budgets.
Berlin has the potential to be more and more on the cutting edge of the international scene. The motto ‘poor but sexy’ still holds good but here, as uniquely to Berlin, it represents the culture of affordable food for everyone. Things that have been secondary until now, like design and interiors, are rapidly becoming more important.
Food cities: how to promote culinary tourism
Moderator Luisa Weiss and her guests Lorraine Haist, Jay Cheshes and Christian Tänzler engaged in a lively discussion, sharing their personal views on the food scene in Berlin and how to nurture the growing hype into something unique to Berlin.
The importance of dialogue between local restaurateurs and producers, and the role of journalists and opinion makers was also emphasised.
Learning from the best
Five huge names in the culinary world demonstrated in their presentations that there is no silver bullet when it comes to success. Mark Best, Amanda Cohen, Magnus Ek, Jeremy Charles and Matt Orlando (in the picture above, left) recounted their experiences, with Cohen explaining how to become a successful chef in New York, she first had to learn from her mistakes. No wonder she enchanted the audience.
A final roundtable discussion with the participants
The audience became an active part of the event through an unusual and exciting challenge. Individual discussions were held at 12 tables, where those present were able to interact with each other and share their views on various topics
A lively round of questions followed the subsequent on-stage assessment. It’s obvious that Berlin is developing fast food-wise and Terroir Berlin is the perfect vehicle to promote the capital’s food scene on the international stage.