René Mathieu, chef of Luxembourg restaurant La Distillerie has clinched the restaurant philosophy award at the Gault & Millau Culinary Innovators awards 2018 for Benelux that were announced on Monday evening at the beautiful premises of the Verbeke Foundation in Kemzeke. The chef is known for his use of nature in his cuisine and has recently launched a unique augmented reality book Vegetal.
The focus of the awards was on sustainability, reasonable consumption and how we can all be more conscious about what we eat and how we handle food.
Among the winners were Eatmosphere which emphasis the need to reduce food waste (Sustainability Award); the Institution award went to North Sea Chefs the collective of chefs created by 2 Michelin star chef Filip Claeys who has sought to raise awareness on the need to cook with more sustainable fish even at top end restaurants and is also raising awareness on the problem of plastics in the ocean. The product award went to Disposables.bio, a company which specialises in environmentally friendly disposable plates and cutlery for catering events.
The Entrepreneur of the Year was Luc de Laet of De Laet & Van Haver ‘Butcher’s Craft
The award ceremony of Culinary Innovators is the focal point of a year of working and researching for the team at Gault & Millay. The culinary innovators team is constantly on the lookout for innovative products and ideas.
The goal is to keep the sector attractive, exciting and interesting. “Dries Tack, the business development director of Gault&Millau said that with this project they want to actively participate in the future of gastronomy. “We bring together the most important players in the culinary sector both online and offline: chefs, producers, academics, suppliers, entrepreneurs and customers. We bring insights and strive for innovation within this sector, on a gastronomic, technological, financial, commercial and organisational level.”
For Gault & Millau’s Managing Director Marc Declerck, the project fits perfectly within the broadening and innovation that the company attaches great importance to. “We have been Tomorrowland’s food consultant for many years, have just signed a cooperation agreement with RSC Anderlecht recently for the evaluation of their new gastronomic offer, developed pairing experiences together with Neuhaus, and last year we presented our first POP selection: young, trendy food addresses. They are all initiatives around innovation and quality enjoyment.”
The full list of winners of the Culinary Innovators Awards 2018 were
• Education award: The board of tomorrow (De Tijd and VRT NWS)
• Event award: FoodParadiseDay
• Institution award: NorthSeaChefs
• Marketing award: RUBY RB1 (Barry Callebaut)
• Product award: Disposables.bio
• Restaurant philosophy award: René Mathieu with Restaurant La Distillerie
• Sustainability award: Eatmosphere
• Digital award: Food pairing
• Entrepreneur of the Year: Luc De Laet (De Laet & Van Haver ‘Butcher’s Craft’)
During the evening, various chefs presented a dish to the over 500 people present for the award ceremony. These included Joris Bijdendijk (NL), Onno Kokmeijer (NL), René Mathieu (LUX), David Martin, Kobe Desramaults, Tim Boury, Michael Vrijmoed, Ken Verschueren, the Blend Brothers with Paul Morel, Michiel Rabaey of Restaurant Storm, the North Sea Chefs, the Young Masters, the Butcher’s craft among others.