When you bring together some of the world’s hottest restaurant chefs for a week, and let them loose in the world’s most dynamic city, you can expect something special. Givaudan’s Chef’s Council 2014, convened in New York City for the first time in four years, to stir creativity, foster innovation and push the boundaries of culinary art in the name of creating exciting new food concepts. It didn’t fail to surprise, amaze and delight.
Givaudan’s Chef’s Council is an event that assembles a diverse and global team of culinary and flavour experts who focus on food trends, to stimulate creativity, and enhance innovation in the development of new culinary ideas and concepts. Givaudan has been hosting the Givaudan’s Chef’s Council for over a decade, from Napa Valley to Hong Kong to Barcelona, spanning the globe to touch on some of the most important and relevant subjects in the world of food and flavour. Bringing together the collective creativity and passion of renowned chefs, flavourists and research scientists provides an ideal forum to create inspiring new concepts for our customers’ food and beverage brands, where the goal is to craft the flavours of tomorrow.
Givaudan brings a renowned chef from each of its regions and this year’s guest cooks included Flavio Solorzano of the restaurant ‘El Senorio de Sulco’ in Lima, André Chiang from ‘Restaurant André’ in Singapore, Jordi Roca of ‘El Celler de Can Roca’ in Girona, Spain, Atul Kochhar of London’s ‘Benares’ and Daniel Holzman, from the ‘Meat Ball Shop’ in New York.
Givaudan’s Chef’s Council takes a different theme each time and the 2014 event had as its core theme the idea of ‘freshness’ – exploring how we can take the taste and flavour sensations of freshly cooked foods and translate them into savoury dishes and snacks. New York City is the food capital of the world – known for its variety of ethnic cuisines, great restaurants, and the ability to find food quickly at any hour of the day – or night. New trends in fashion and food often begin in the city before they reach other parts of the world.
Preparation and presentation
A great deal of thoughtful preparation is done before the chefs set to work in the kitchen. Each comes ready to cook, discuss, and debate ingredients, methods, styles and trends. The Givaudan teams collaborate closely with our guest chefs in a flurry of activity that results in cooking sessions and presentations by each guest chef, not to mention a great deal of tasting!
Chef Roca, whose three Michelin starred restaurant has been named the best restaurant in the world, thrilled the assembled room of chefs and flavour experts, creating dish after dish, revealing his vision and interpretation of where convenience food may be heading in years to come.
Chef Solorzano began with an introduction to Peruvian cuisine and its varied influences over hundreds of years, culminating in an amazing combination of ingredients and flavours with a particular focus on varying aspects of freshness.
Chef Atul Kochhar, one of Britain’s most innovative contemporary Indian chefs, explained how the spice and flavour combinations of India can be translated for different audiences. Atul was the very first Indian chef to receive a Michelin star and has since run the highly acclaimed ‘Benares’ in London, for which he was awarded his second Michelin star. Chef Atul shared his inspiration, namely the many contemporary cuisines of India, unusual spice combinations and ingredients – all influenced by both his Indian culture and western tastes in the UK.
Chef André Chiang of the award-winning ‘Restaurant André’, located in Singapore, specialises in French nouvelle cuisine with Mediterranean accents. This cerebral chef focused carefully on ideas, ingredients and flavour pairings, revealing intricate combinations of each. With careful attention given to the theme of convenience, he meticulously presented a feast of food challenging conventional concepts.
Chef Daniel Holzman, of New York’s ‘Meat Ball Shop’, began by sharing his stories of experiences gained in his training from haute cuisine restaurants, and how he uses these experiences to bring quality food to a diverse, young audience. He presented a wide assortment of his dishes and described his cuisine as rustic, affordable, accessible, delicious and unpretentious.
Throughout the event, Givaudan’s Science and Technology and Flavour Application teams, plus our own internal chefs, explored the thinking and approach of the guest chefs. Givaudan’s Chef’s Council 2014 marks the start of our own journey of exploration into freshness, taking the rich findings of this special event to bring our customers new concepts in what ‘fresh’ might mean to their consumers.