Over 150 chefs in 25 cities worldwide will join forces to conclude the last chapter of the Grand GELINAZ! Shuffle Stay in Tour. What started on 3 December will be finalised on 29 August when some of the world’s greatest chefs pay tribute to chefs that have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic either because their restaurant was forced to close or because they were in between projects.
GELINAZ! curator Andrea Petrini, a food writer par excellence told Food and Wine Gazette that this event has been the most complicated to organise.
“The second chapter had to be held in January. We then moved it to February and then to May but most places were in lockdown. We have now scheduled it for 29 August and hope that we manage because the reality is that no one believed that this could be done,” Andrea said.
Earlier this month, three Austrian chefs (known as the Healthy Boy Band) played solo in Vienna as a way to prepare for the final second chapter.
Restaurants in many cities around the world will be welcoming guests for a daring dinner. The hosting restaurants this time have been designated as the curators of the event. They have been tasked with inviting chefs and also organising the choreography of the dinners. They will be asked to think different, perform different and to cook different.
What the curators will receive are matrixes from the ‘silent voices’. These ‘silent voices’ feature the likes of Albert Adria, Kim Atler, Geeta Bansal, Selassie Atadika, Pascal Barbot, Colombe Saint-Pierre, David Thompson, Paul Carmichael, Gabriela Camara, Wylie Dufresne, Marie-Victorine Manoa, Chiho Kanzawi to mention a few names. Matrixes vary depending on the personalities of the chefs in question. Some might give detailed recipes, how to plate dishes while others just give a combination of ingredients and leave everything in the hands of the curators and friends to remix these recipes.
The first ever stay-in tour was held in 2019 at a time when GELINAZ! wanted provoke some thought about the constant travelling of chefs. Little did they know that what was a provocation would become a worldwide obligation because of a pandemic.
“Restaurants and chefs needed a systematic shift. We organised the first shuffle in 2015 and we did it again in 2016 even though we normally do not repeat events. In 2019 we felt that we were at the end of an era. Chefs were travelling from one congress to another presenting the same dishes wherever they went. We wanted to sound the alarm and that is why we organised the stay-in tour. It was like a social study of world cuisine,” he said.
While in 2019, we were close to the end of an era, 2021 is not looking much better and things have taken a turn for the worse. Andrea is sounding the alarm bells again.
Andrea said that everyone has suffered in one way or another the pandemic. “Organising an event like this has its challenges and also aims to push the boat. It is great for restaurants to be back but what I have observed so far is worrying. There is a return to something that is easier and more comforting. Given there is less travel, many have reopened with ‘transitional menus’ as they focus their cusine for locals. But there are also some alarm bells that are being sounded. When Alain Ducasse is ‘kicked out’ of Plaza Athenee you realise that nothing is sacred any more. You realise that we are facing a systemetic shift and it is not necessarily going to be better,” he said.
His hope is that this event will push the chefs that are coming together to do something that is forward looking. “I hope that they do not simplify things to try and fit into today’s politically correct narrative,” he said.
“Recipes that travel are a provocation against conformism and moralism which seems to have struck the world,” he tells me. “We are seeing conformism and lack of ambition in kitchens. There is less dialogue and also less risk taking. What we have done with the shuffle in the past is send chefs to take over restaurants in a different part of the world. For one evening when Danny Bowen took over Noma, it became a ‘Chinese restaurant. What we aim to do with Gelinaz! is to disturb the status quo. We need disruption, more so now.”
Andrea is not seeing a lot of creativity around. “All seem to be repeating the same things, the same mantras across all continents.” He uses the example of natural wines which he loves and tends to favour even though he also relishes a great Brunello di Montalcino which few sommeliers seem to favour these days. “Today, you are not a certain type of restaurant if you do not serve natural wines. But natural wines are exactly the opposite of what has happened in the kitchen where Adria pushed the realm of possibility with technology. What’s wrong with technology if it can make things better,” he said.
He mentioned René Redzepi’s work with fermentation and pickling as well and his first use at a Cook it Raw. “Few know that this phenomenon arose because of the second world war and an incredibly cold winter when it was impossible to grow anything. “Nature as a science has been the fuel of research but I get the feeling that we have created different world’s and universes which don’t communicate whether these are chefs, sommeliers or wine makers. This is what we need to break,” he said.
The August 29 line-up
Ukraine: Yourz Space Bistro curated by Aleksander Yourz. Special guests Yuriy Nikityuk and Nka Lozovskaya.
Singapore: Restaurant Nouri curated by Ivan Brehm. Special guests still to be announced.
Colombia: Restaurant El Chato in Bogota curated by Alvaro Clavijo. Special guests Mario Rosero and Rafael Buitrago.
Vietnam: Quice Eatery in Ho Chi Minh City curated by Bao La. Special guests Julien Perraudin, Viet Hong Le and Sam Tran.
Hong Kong: Little Bao Causeway Bay curated by May Chow. Special guests Steph Wong, Agustin Balbi, Ricardo Chaneton, Menex Cheung, Aurelie Altemaire and Steve Lee.
Denmark: Sanchez Cantina in Copenhagen curated by René Redzepi, Rosio Sanchez and Nadine Redzepi. Special guests Nicolai Norregaard, Mette Soberg and Thomas Frebel.
United States: Nightbird in San Francisco curated by Kim Alter. Special guests Brandon Jew, Mei Lin, Jon Yao, Perfecte Rocher and Nick Muncy.
Italy: Si Puo Fare Onlus in Noto, Sicily curated by Viviana Varese. Special guests Cristina Bowerman, Isa Mazzocchi, Paolo Lopriore, Carmelo Chiaramonte, Accursio Craparo, Fulvio Pierangelini, Chloe Charles, Zahie Tellez and Corrado Assenza.
Chile: MuuMami in Santiago curated by Rodolfo Guzman. Special guests to be announced later.
Philippines: Toyo Eatery curated by Jordy Navarra and JP Cruz. Special guests Stephan Duhesme, Allen Buhay, BJ Mantuano, Bruce Ricketts and Margarita Fores.
Japan: Narisawa in Tokyo curated by Yoshiro Narisawa and Hisato Hamada with their teams as special guests.
Bolivia: Restaurant Gusto in La Paz curated by Marsia Taha Mohamed. Special guests Coral Ayoroa, Paola Gonzales, Valentina Arteaga, Gabriela Prudencio, Daniela Cueto, Heydi Chavez, Luz Canaviri and Alexandra Melean.
Italy: Tenuta di Valgiano curated by Stefano Terigi, Benedetto Rullo and Lorenzo Stefanini. Special guests Mauro Colagreco, Agostino Iacobucci, Chiara Pavan, Francesco Brutto, Karime Lopez, Taka Kondo, Carlo Cracco, Riccardo Camanini, Lorenzo Lunghi and Mattia Pecis.
United States: Fulgurances, Laundromat in Brooklyn curated by Aaron Rosenthal and Hugo Hivernat with special guests mads Reflund and Victoria Blamey.
Norway: Maaemo in Oslo curated by Esben Holmboe Bang. Special guests Heidi Bjerkan and Jimmy Oien.
UK: Silo in London curated by Douglas McMaster. Special guests Santiago Lastra, Henrietta Lovell, Richard Hart and Ryan Chetiyawardana.
United States: Audrey in Nashville curated by Sean Brock, Samuel Jett and Colby Rasavong. Special guest Gunter Seeger.
Sweden: Petri in Stockholm curated by Petter Nilsson with his team.
UK: OX Restaurant in Belfast curated by Stephen Toman. Special guests Takashi Miyazaki, Danny Barry, Gareth McCaughey and Jack McGarry.
Switzerland: La Pinte des Mossettes in Cerniat curated by Nicholas Barnauguilhem. Special guests Judith Baumann, Marius Frehner and Walter El Nagar.
Albania: Pallati i Brigadave in Tirana curated by Bledar Kola. Special guests Gezim Musliaka, Albert Hazma, Ana Sanchez and Jessica Natali.
Germany: Michelberger in Berlin curated by Sebastian Frank. Special guests Alan Micks, Andreas Rieger, Lode van Zuylen, Remi Stijn, Matthew Maue and Dalad Kambhu.
France: Restaurant Chez Mattin in Ciboure curated by Mathieu Rostaing-Tayard. Special guests Christophe Pele, Yoji Tokuyoshi, Celine Pham, Antonio Ziantoni, Floriant Remont and Michel Niquet.
South Korea: Mingles in Seoul curated by Mingoo Kang and his team.
US: Phenakite in Los Angeles curated by Minh Phan. Special guests Daniel Patterson, Josef Centeno, Carlos Salgado, Jihee Kim and more to be announced soon.
More details here.