Berlin Partner honors the best of the best, be it chef, fashionable restaurant, or host
2015’s “Berlin Master Chefs” were announced at a press conference today. The independent 14-member jury, consisting of Berlin’s leading food journalists and connoisseurs, selected the winners in six categories. The “Berlin Master Chefs” awards will be presented for the 19th time by Berlin Partner. This increases the visibility of the enormous number of talented chefs in the capital city, a number that is growing every year, and once again highlights that the capital region’s chefs truly are topnotch.
The “Berlin Master Chef 2015” is Sonja Frühsammer from the restaurant Frühsammers. The jury stated: “Never excessive, far from pretentious, but light, elegant, bold, fruity. The kitchen sends out a soup made from dark red cherries and tomatoes as a greeting. Frozen avocado purée is served with mojito cream and wonderfully salty/sour cubes of salty lemon gel. She combines her marinated prawns with kohlrabi from Brandenburg and sweet/peppery papaya. Berlin’s best chef has consistently perfected her signature style and has developed a cuisine that is now truly distinctive and unique in the capital city. Even silent-movie star Fritzi Massary, in whose former villa and conservatory the food is served, would be proud of Berlin’s first female master chef.”
Marco Giedow of “Ferienhof Spreewaldromantik” in Burg was chosen as “Brandenburg Master Chef 2015.” The jury justified their decision as follows: “Honest, clear and simple – but with pep,” as Marco Giedow describes his cuisine. When he’s in the kitchen, his goal is to make regional and seasonal food a taste experience – unadulterated, without any frills or extravagances! He had already made an impression and had been named Master Chef in 2011 when he was in the kitchen at ‘Alte Schule’ in Reichenwalde. Now he has moved on, evolved, and garnishes his cuisine in an even more elegant and skillful manner with modern taste accents and surprising add-ins from around the world. For the second time, Giedow has proven himself a master builder and architect of a modern and ever more imaginative Brandenburg cuisine.”
The title “Newcomer of the Year 2015” went to Manuel Schmuck from “MARTHA’S RESTAURANT.” The jury explained its decision as follows: “Explosively creative, truly wild! The plantain rösti with glazed pork belly and a beans/coriander ragout comes on a baking tray lined with light-colored baking paper which is colorfully painted with strokes and dabs of red barbecue sauce and green parsley oil, completely reminiscent of Pollock’s works. Veal tongue and granny smith apples are served with violet mustard and caramelized mustard seeds. With his cuisine, our ‘Newcomer of the Year’ has set himself at the very top of a group of new, young chefs in the city who draw their inspiration from Berlin’s booming street kitchens, some of which bring craft and skills from the biggest restaurants. Manuel Schmuck was sous-chef to the great Daniel Achilles at ‘Reinstoff.’”
In the category “Best Berlin Host 2015,” the jury chose Barbara Merll from “SKYKITCHEN Restaurant / Bar flavored by a.choice,” at andel’s Hotel Berlin. The jury had the following to say: “Human, personable, professional, always a smile on her face and a primal intuition for what would appeal to her guest and what they may be thinking about. ‘How about a nice kefir soup with carrot ice cream and carrot/tapioca pearls – and yes, over there, those are the two towers of the Frankfurter Tor!’ She had already won hearts as a good soul in the former ‘a.choice.’ Now that Alexander Koppe’s restaurant has moved to a lofty height, on the 12th floor with panoramic views over the city and a new chic yet casual design reminiscent of James Bond, it seems even more liberated and inspired. ‘I have fun here every evening,’ says our Best Host 2015. ‘And if something goes wrong, we just laugh it off.’ That’s exactly how it should be.”
The “Most Fashionable Berlin Restaurant” this year is CORDOBAR. The jury explained their choice as follows: “The pleasure of wine without inhibitions, plus excellent cuisine – the ‘blood sausage pizza’ topped with beetroot, feta and dabs of wasabi mayonnaise is already iconic! The servers wear t-shirts and jeans. They don’t want to provide guests with instruction, just win them over; the wine book, which is 900 types ‘thick’, reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of Austria’s young, creative winemakers. ‘Berlin is less restricting, more open than Vienna,’ says sommelier Willi Schlögl, who is from Steiermark. Together with the Viennese star chef/son Lukas Mraz, he has come to the Spree to create a place for wines where there wasn’t one previously. Yes that’s right, there wasn’t even one in Berlin! Job done! Our ‘Most Fashionable Berlin Restaurant 2015’ is generally lively, colorful and packed until well after midnight.”
Ninon Demuth, Gerrit Kürschner, Carolin Strehmel, Rafael Strasser, Lisa Thaens and Bontu Guschke from “Über den Tellerrand kochen e. V.” receive the title “Culinary Innovator 2015.” “Sharing food nourishes the soul, is welcoming; eating together conveys protection and security. ‘We have cooked with refugees here in the city, listening to them and collecting recipes and stories for a cookbook,’ said Nino Demuth. Lisa Thaens and Rafael Strasser remember how, as if of their own accord, fates were suddenly communicated and discussed. This developed into the Food Project, whose six founders the jury clearly and unanimously awarded this year’s ‘Culinary Innovator’ prize. ‘Über den Tellerrand kochen’ held and organized cooking classes by and for refugees in locations throughout Berlin to cook and eat traditional cuisine, taking mother’s cooking and facilitating arrivals, understanding and healing.”
Dr. Stefan Elfenbein, chairman of the “Berlin Master Chefs Jury”:
“For the first time in ‘Master Chef’ history, the ‘Master Chef’ is a woman, even the ‘Best Host’ is a woman – moreover in a restaurant at a bold lofty height! Our ‘Newcomer’ is the best of a group of young chefs who cook in a fresher, cheekier and more self-confident manner than any previous ‘vintage.’ The chosen ‘Most Fashionable Berlin Restaurant’ is a place that – like the founders themselves say – is only possible in Berlin. And our ‘Culinary Innovator’ award goes to six newcomers to Berlin who are taking everything related to eating to also send a political message – our hats go off to them! In conclusion: Berlin 2015 tastes better than ever and is welcoming and liberating!”
“The Master Chefs have contributed to establishing Berlin on the national and international stage as a place for haute cuisine, but also for trends. In no other city is it possible to successfully implement unusual ideas and new concepts. The diversity, creativity and professionalism make the Master Chefs excellent ambassadors for Berlin. Our Berlin Partner network also appreciates this format, which we created in 1997 to increase the visibility of the capital city's fine dining culture as an important economic factor,” said Andrea Joras, Managing Director of Berlin Partner.
The selection criteria of the jury, which was made up of independent experts, were the culinary artistry, the originality of the creations, the presentation of the food, the service and the atmosphere. The official awards ceremony for this year’s winners, as well as the presentation of the coveted awards in the form of a hand-painted plate from the Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Berlin, will take place at a gala dinner at the Hotel InterContinental Berlin on November 7, 2015.
For more information about the “Berlin Master Chefs 2015” project, please contact:
Head of Unit Berlin-Partner-Events
Phone +49 30 46302-349
Press releases and photos can be downloaded from:
www.berlin-partner.de/meisterkoeche-pressebereich (in German)
The “Berlin Master Chefs” are on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BerlinerMeisterkoeche and on Twitter at #berlinisst.