The Jeunes Restaurateurs (JRE) congress unfolded over two itinerant days this week in the spectacular lakeside location of Lucerne where Swiss food, speeches and celebrating top talent were the defining themes.
Set against an iconic Swiss backdrop the bi-annual gathering of European young masterchefs from JRE included nearly 400 attendees from an impressive 16 countries all sharing a common passion for good food and a desire to excel in the kitchen with specific talent being recognised during the JRE awards ceremony.
The food themed agenda included a champagne reception upon arrival and a communal breakfast aboard a steamship on the lake, including feasting on typical regional Swiss specialities en route to the ceremony location.
The awards ceremony was opened by JRE President Ernesto Iaccarino at the Verkehrshaus Museum of Transport who shared his thoughts on the history of food and the JRE manifesto, followed by speeches from Justyna Adamczyk (CIO Gault&Millau) on the subject of the cutting edge in becoming a culinary legend, and Francesco Wessels, (master coach at the Netherlands Olympic Committee) on leadership and passion.
This year's awards ceremony included awards for talent of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Innovation, Service, Taste of Origin and Heritage. A special Never-ending Passion award was also presented by JRE Vice-president Alexander Dressel to Alexander Huber from Germany, an exceptional chef who was recognised for exceeding expectations. See the full list of this year's winners and awards below.
JRE Awards 2017
Service Award by S.Pellegrino/Acqua Panna
Rudolf Štefan from JRE Croatia (Contemporary Pelegrini)
Taste of Origin Award by Pommery
Dario Cadonau from JRE Switzerland (In Lain Hotel Cadonau)
Entrepreneur of the Year Award by MasterCard
Steven Dehaeze from JRE Belgium (Culinair)
Innovation Award by Nespresso
Tomaž Kavčič from JRE Slovenia (Gostilna Pri Lojzetu)
Talent of the Year Award by Pastificio dei Campi
Edwin Soumang from JRE Netherlands (Restaurant ONE)
Heritage Award by Grana Padano
Laurent Smallegange from JRE Netherlands (Restaurant Spetters)
Never-ending Passion Award by JRE
Alexander Huber from JRE Germany (Restaurant Huber)
The Gala Dinner
The Schweizerhof Hotel formed the elegant setting for the post awards gala dinner when 30 JRE members served their colleagues a range of amuse-bouches followed by a mouthwatering menu made from high quality local Swiss produce.
Michael Ellis (Michelin CEO) gave a closing speech on the importance of JRE for the Michelin Guide.
What is JRE?
JRE, one of the most prestigious culinary organisations in the world, founded in France in 1974, and brings together young restaurateurs and chefs who want to share their talent and passion for food with likeminded people.