Food meets science in Amsterdam

Food Meets Science, the interdisciplinary conference connecting the world of science with gastronomy, is about to take place in Amsterdam on September 13th as one of the main events of The Best Chef Awards itinerary.

The Best Chef Awards' big come back is marked by a series of events organized in Amsterdam where attendees will get to share knowledge with their international peers and colleagues, and get to experience their great projects while being in one of Europe’s most exciting cities, with remarkable art, architecture, flavours and history. On September 13th, an all-star lineup of experts will focus the whole program on two main topics, starting with "Meat no meat". A subject that sparks discussions all over the world and that's definitely affecting fine dining and the way we all eat. The talks? Stacy Pyett will conduct one called Weird, Wild and Delicious, about new protein sources; Ariette Matser will talk about the science behind plant-based burgers and Marleen Onwezen about Finding Flexitarians: what’s driving consumers? All of them are scientists from Wageningen University & Research, one of the partners of the event and a leading institution when it comes to sustainability. The cooking shows will also bring excitement as Fatmata Binta presents her new vegetarian menu while explaining attendees about her farming projects for women in Africa; Rüdiger Brummer from Nice to Meat explains what it is to be a Meat Sommelier and David Muñoz bring their world famous dishes to Amsterdam.

"Food and space", the second subject of this year's Food Meets Science conference takes us to the stars and back. Humans have always shared this big curiosity for the infinite space and all there’s to see and discover, and this year we team up astronauts, experts and academics to discuss their work involving space nutrition. Starting with Mathieu Castex and Jörg Hofmann from LSG Group, who work as menu developers for the German ESA astronauts, not just cooking, but also designing and caring for the production process. They will host a show cooking and tasting of the food astronauts eat in outer space. Followed by astronaut and professor Reinhold Ewald, who will explain the evolution of space nutrition and how it started as a commodity that turned into a key part of every mission to space. And last but not least we’ll also connect directly with astronaut Matthias Maurer in Houston as he and Bernd Breiter explain what gastronomy, space and music have in common.

“Science is an amazing tool to educate and to have a better understanding of things in the culinary world. With that knowledge, farmers, producers, chefs and even guests can make better and more conscious decisions about what they grow, how the fish, what they produce or buy, how they cook and what they eat just to name some examples. Through FOOD MEETS SCIENCE our goal is to spread that knowledge and education and to provide a worldwide platform to experts that are doing amazing work in both the culinary and the scientific world.” explains Joanna Slusarczyk, neuroscientist and one of the founders of THE BEST CHEF.

Area Talks: Dialogs that generate change

September 14th marks the return of Area Talks, one of the main events on The Best Chef Awards calendar, created to provide all sorts of experts related to the culinary world with a platform to share and exchange opinions, ideas and knowledge. After a successful virtual edition last year that brought together 21 speakers from different corners of the world, the team goes BACK TO “LIVE”, BACK TO REALITY with this year's four topics.

Starting with The Future of Fine Dining, a discussion panel where Sven Elverfeld from restaurant Aqua, Manu Buffara from restaurant Manu, Gerhard Huber and Kaja Sajovic will share inspirational ideas and points of view about what we can expect after a pandemic that took the industry by surprise. What are the new and future trends? How do experts see the future of fine dining? Will anything change in fine dining?

The second topic will be The Dark and Bright sides of Gastronomy, a panel where no topic is off the table, regardless of how controversial it can be. Michael van der Kroft from restaurant Tres, Syrco Bakker from restaurant Pure C and Jermain de Rozario from restaurant De Rozario are just some of the speakers that will debate issues like conditions in the workplace, mental health and sexism, just to name a few. To honor the host country, the third topic will be Dutch Gastronomy with speakers Jonnie and Therese Boer from De Librije, Jan Jacob Boerma, Soenil Bahadoer from De Lindehof, Marleen and Jeroen Brouwer from De Loohoeve and Joël Broekaert - Dutch culinary journalist. Together they will discuss the past, present and future of local fine dining in a country that isn’t necessarily known for its gastronomic tradition but that managed to raise the bar and position dutch cuisine at a top international level.

The climax of the day will come with What is Sustainability? Not a new subject but one that THE BEST CHEFS AWARDS organization is very focused on. Hannah van Zanten from Wageningen University, Joris Bijdendijk from restaurant RIJKS, Ana Roš from Hiša Franko, David Muñoz from DiverXO, Antonia Klugmann from L’Argine a Vencò and journalist Lisa Lesch Palmer will debate on exciting and innovative solutions for a problem that affects all of us. What is the general situation in gastronomy? Can fine dining be sustainable? What can restaurants do to become greener? Should restaurants use less meat and more vegetables?

A live free stream of the entire three days of events will be available for anyone who wants to join. Those who register on THE BEST CHEF AWARDS website can be a part of the conversation and choose which events they’d like to stream live. Tickets are still available to attend the live AWARDS GALA on the 15th.

Featured photo artwork: Vangelis Pidiakis