- The jury of the international Eckart Witzigmann Award (ECKART) has announced its first selection for this year’s award ceremony: The ECKART 2018 for “Art of Living” goes to New York restaurateur Danny Meyer and his executive chef, Suzanne Cupps, from the “Untitled” restaurant, located inside New York’s Whitney Museum. The award will be presented at the ECKART gala in New York in June.
“Suzanne Cupps and Danny Meyer represent a young urban gastronomy that skilfully combines creative culinary art and modern hospitality,” explained Eckart Witzigmann, announcing the jury’s decision. “Their focus on simple natural ingredients from across the region, cultivated in the most sustainable way possible, is 100 percent in line with the ECKART philosophy.”
Danny Meyer is an entrepreneur with a feel for strong concepts and quality. He heads the successful Union Square Hospitality Group, which includes some of the most popular and successful restaurants in New York City, including the Union Square Cafe, the Gramercy Tavern and The Modern at the MoMA. His restaurants offer more than just good food; he creates an exceptional experience for guests of all generations, not just for a specific target group. His restaurants are places where people come together to enjoy themselves. He finds spaces and opens them up to new possibilities: It is thanks to him that museum gastronomy has embraced a young and attractive cuisine.
A good example of this is the Whitney Museum, home to the “Untitled” restaurant, where Suzanne Cupps has been chef since 2017. As Union Square Hospitality Group’s only female executive chef, Cupps brings a breath of fresh air to the museum and its cuisine. In a casual but elegant atmosphere, she presents subtly aromatic dishes based on fresh and sustainably-cultivated seasonal products. After graduating, the up-and-coming chef initially wanted to be a maths teacher. Now, she brings her sense of clarity and precision to the kitchen, where her gentle and respectful handling of basic products has created her own inimitable style.
Partners since 2012, the BMW Group and the Witzigmann Academy jointly present the Eckart Witzigmann Award for outstanding achievements in the categories: “Art of Cookery”, “Innovation”, “Art of Living” and “Creative Responsibility”. The partnership is based on the joint aim of creating an international platform for healthy eating, sustainable cuisine and responsible use of resources. The total endowment of €250,000 reflects the prestige and importance of the ECKART as a top international culinary award. In 2018, the award will take another step towards becoming more international, with the presentation of the ECKART 2018 at an official ceremony in New York.