Sustainable, innovative, and committed to quality

The "Berlin Master Chefs" for 2019 have been announced. The 10 members of the independent Berlin Master Chef jury chaired by Dr. Stefan Elfenbein have chosen the winners in the categories "Berlin Master Chef 2019," "Newcomer of the Year 2019", "Berlin Host 2019," "Berlin's Trendiest Restaurant 2019," "Berlin Kiezmeister 2019," and "Culinary Innovator 2019."

Dr. Stefan Franzke, CEO of Berlin Partner: "Berlin has become an extraordinary location for the gastronomy sector, and we at Berlin Partner are delighted not only to accompany but also foster this development with the annual Berlin Master Chef award. In its 23 years, Berlin Master Chefs has helped to establish Berlin as a place known both within Germany and around the world for hâute cuisine and setting new culinary trends. In the truest sense of the word, the master chefs are excellent ambassadors of the city and its diversity, creativity, and professionalism. And we have a lot of plans: together with our award winners, we want to shed an even brighter global spotlight on the gourmet metropolis that is Berlin."

This year marks the twenty-third time the Berlin Master Chefs will be awarded by Berlin Partner. From the very beginning, the Berlin Master Chefs have honored leaders in Berlin's diverse culinary scene who have shown a particular commitment to the city and its international reputation. The Berlin Master Chefs are as diverse as the city's districts.

Dr. Stefan Elfenbein, chair of the Berlin Master Chefs jury: "The jury made its decisions independently and democratically. This year, there were about 130 candidates proposed by the jury members for awards in six categories. 25 of them were nominated. What's new on the Berlin culinary scene in 2019? What has caught our attention? On the one hand, it's clear that foreign chefs are aiming for the top, by opening second locations in the capital or even by being geniuses at the stove. The colorful cuisine of Tel Aviv has experienced an absolute boom this year in Berlin. A clear hotspot is Potsdamer Straße. But it was the outsiders who really won us over, the Kiezmeister who travels across 'bread deserts,' the female upstart surrounded by tough guys, a master chef who was once in the US Navy. Because of their extra courage and energy, they clearly dominated the races and convinced the jury. The Master Chef Class of 2019: so typically Berlin! Our congratulations!"


The Berlin Master Chef 2019 is Björn Swanson from the restaurant GOLVET.

From the jury's decision: "'Rich in contrasts, thrilling, wild' is how our Master Chef 2019 describes his cooking with which he has made his way to the top of Berlin's culinary scene with dogged consistency. He readily combines calf's head and king crab with goulash juice and peperonata. Aged cheddar becomes an explosion of flavors when paired with capers, artichokes, and a green tomato-anise ice. Swanson grew up in Berlin. After an interlude with his father's family in Florida and with the US Marines, he apprenticed under the great Herbert Beltle and then worked with the likes of Alexander Dressel, Christian Lohse, Marco Müller, and Michael Kempf. As the chef at the Relais & Chateaux “Gutshaus Stolpe” on the river Peene, he made sure the restaurant upheld its tradition of being awarded a Michelin star. In 2017, his “Golvet” came to Berlin. And starting in 2020, China will have its own “Golvet”.”


The title Newcomer of the Year 2019 goes to Sophia Rudolph from the restaurant Panama.

From the jury's decision: "Consistent and confident, our 2019 Newcomer of the Year has really developed her concept of contemporary cooking. And she's tastefully putting it into action. Vegetables, mostly from the region, are the focus. Umami notes accompanied by a gentle sweetness are her trademark. She refines a filet of sturgeon with hazelnuts, broccoli, and blood orange. Eucalyptus lends a finishing touch to a sweet finale of mango and parsnip. The Berlin native studied at the renowned Institute Paul Bocuse in Lyon. She has also worked under Alain Ducasse at Le Louis XV' in Monte Carlo. In 2016, she was named head chef at the colorful Panama. Initially, people came because of the location. Now they come for her."


In the Berlin Host 2019 category, the jury chose Mathias Brandweiner from POTS.

From the jury's decision: "They couldn't have found a better person for the task. Our 2019 Host of the Year is restaurant manager, sommelier, and the heart and soul of Dieter Müller's new POTS inside the boldly rebuilt Ritz-Carlton. Just to watch him at work is fun: always a smile on the face, the right joke on the lips, nothing fake, always authentic. The Austrian gained early experiences in Kitzbühel, Vienna, and London. At age twenty, he became the youngest sommelier in Germany at Pierre Gagnaire's former Les Solistes in the Waldorf Astoria. More recently, he made quite the impression at Le Faubourg in the Sofitel on Kurfürstendamm. He is setting a new direction with his purely German wine list with around 200 naturally produced wines."


Berlin's Trendiest Restaurant for 2019 is FREA.
From the jury's decision: "Finally showing responsibility! The message is clear. With FREA, Germany's first vegan zero-waste restaurant, Jasmin Martin and David Suchy have now created a spot in this country committed to uncompromisingly sustainable enjoyment. Only organic products from the region are used. They are only delivered in responsible packaging, i.e. without plastic or foil. Everything is used: roots, stems, stalks. Norwegian Halfdan Kluften has the helm of the stove. He has previously worked at Geranium in Copenhagen, Benu in San Francisco, and most recently at Silo in Brighton, Europe's first zero-waste restaurant. Any leftovers end up in the composter. Another pleasure for guests' microbiomes is the house's own water kefir. All the furnishings are made of recycled materials or are second-hand finds."


Domberger Brot-Werk in Moabit has been named Berliner Kiezmeister 2019.

From the jury's decision: "Lovingly hand-crafted bread that nourishes and unites like any true cultural asset is now under threat of extinction. Florian Domberger could not watch without taking action. He gave up his career in the pharmaceuticals industry and learned to bake his way to the top. His glass-enclosed bakery in Moabit is a real hangout for the neighborhood. (Kiez). With his bread desert expedition vehicle, a former field bakery used by the Swiss Army, he takes wagon-wheel sized sourdough breads made from local rye into neighborhoods left to scrape with cheap, factory-baked bread. His fully functional micro-bakery is now housed in a container on the Berlin-Buch Start-Up Campus. He has also baked with asylum seekers and immigrants. He is a true Kiezmeister!"


Bernhard Moser, initiator of the eat! berlin FEINSCHMECKER FESTIVAL, has been named
"Culinary Innovator 2019."

From the jury's decision: "Berlin needs visionaries; people who won't let go of their dreams. In 2004, when wine and gourmet food were barely on the radar here, the native Austrian and sommelier Bernhard Moser opened his Berlin Wine School. Six years later, he started the eat! berlin FEINSCHMECKER FESTIVAL. There were hurdles, cries of doom and gloom. But passion and quality won out in the end. The wine school in the lovingly restored 280-year-old community center is now a highlight in Charlottenburg. And with eat! berlin, our 2019 Innovator of the Year has created a format for cuisine, cooks, Berliners and visitors alike that moves the city with pleasure and is now hard to imagine doing without. Especially nice: even more refined gourmets feel addressed."


The official ceremony for this year's award winners and the presentation of the awards in the form of a hand-painted KPM Berlin plate and a personalized magnum bottle of Pommery Brut Royal will take place during the festive gala dinner to be held November 23 at the BOLLE Festsäle in Moabit.

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Berlin Master Chefs
Every year since 1997, Berlin Partner has honored the best chefs in the capital. By honoring Berlin's master chefs, Berlin Partner profiles the upscale restaurant culture and the diversity of the city's restaurant scene as an important economic factor and flagship of the city. More than 130 cooks and restaurateurs have to date been awarded Berlin Master Chef awards in the various categories. Previous winners include Daniel Achilles, Sebastian Frank, Tim Raue, and Markus Semmler.