The first day of Chef Sache 2014 in Cologne, Germany, was a huge success with some great live cooking presentations by some of the world’s best chefs including Kobe Desramaults, Christian Humbs, Tim Raue, Mauro Colagreco among others, as well as a very interesting discussion about what is networking.
Desramaults, the Belgian chef behind the In de Wulf restaurant is considered to be today’s Marco Pierre White with his inventive cuisine and respect for ingredients. Focusing on the most humble ingredients such as a potato and celeriac, he does his best to bring out the best in even the most humble of ingredients. Questioned about where he finds inspiration he says that he does not find inspiration in books though these are important because they inform him. “To be inspired you need to think and cook like a child, you need to play around with food,” he said.
He also spoke about the fact that people are waking up to food scandals in supermarkets. “This is a really important issue. We need to know what goes into our mouths. We need much more transparency and everyone needs to know where the food is coming from.” he said.
Mauro Colagreco, the chef of French restaurant Mirazur, currently 11th in the world showed what can be done with collagen, the main component of connective tissue in fish which is full of protein. He told me earlier that collagen is a way of eliminating waste (fish caught by mistake and thrown back into the sea dead), because it is not only full of protein but can be used in various ways. Colagreco, whose restaurant in Menton in the south of France borders Italy, is influenced by products from the Mediterranean sea and this was evident at Chef Sache. He made a fish gelatine with langoustine, and calamari cut into small slices which when cooked stick together because of the high collagen content in calamari. He then made a chickpea ragu with clams using collagen, this time to create an emulsion.
Christian Humbs stunned everyone with his inventive patisserie creations. It is no wonder that this chef is considered to be the best patissier in the world winning the title in 2013 and 2014. Given that he was a chef, he uses techniques he learned in the kitchen to make creations that have never been created before. Humbs is one of the most successful chefs Germany has ever had. His creativity is unique and may be considered crazy by normal people. However, when people taste his food, he manages to put a smile on peoples faces and these ‘crossover desserts’ are not only limited to fruit, sugar and cream. “My basic principle in my creations is to use 50 per cent classic patisserie and 50 per cent is what I bring from what I have learned in the kitchen,” Humbs said.
Three chefs, Tim Raue, Thomas Macyszyn and Sebastian Pruβmann presented a dish paired with wine, while in the morning there was a very interesting discussion about the power of networking and social media.
Chef Sache continues on Monday 27 October with live cooking demonstrations from Joachim Wissler, Andree Kothe, Eneko Atxa, Quique Dacosta, Jonnie Boer and Virgilio Martinez.
In the coming days, you will be able to read more about the live cooking presentations at Chef Sache by each chef as well as read interviews with some chefs taking part.