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The BMW Group and the ECKART Academy honour a Peruvian couple that has revolutionised the culinary world with traditional regional recipes and a sense of environmental and ethical responsibility. Eckart Witzigmann: “Having the courage to challenge haute cuisine with local cooking styles: That is innovation.” 

Munich, Germany- May 24, 2018… The jury of the international Eckart Witzigmann Award (ECKART) has announced another winner for this year’s award ceremony: The ECKART 2018 for “Innovation” goes to Astrid Gutsche and Gastón Acurio. The award will be presented at the ECKART Gala in New York in June.

“Astrid Gutsche and Gastón Acurio are no ordinary restaurateurs: By boldly challenging haute cuisine with local ingredients and recipes, the husband-and-wife team are revolutionising the culinary world of an entire country. Gastón Acurio focuses on the fundamental values of cooking: quality, creativity and regionality. His social commitment, which aims to use culinary creations to develop his country into a brand and lead it to prosperity, merits the award for the ‘Innovation’,” explained Eckart Witzigmann, announcing the jury’s decision. 

The success story began in 1994 with the opening of the couple’s first restaurant in Lima. “Astrid y Gastón” served French cuisine bearing the signature of chef Gastón Acurio, who, at that time, regarded haute cuisine as the measure of all things – until his wife, Astrid, reacquainted him with the treasures of local cooking and changed her partner’s thinking. Ultimately, Acurio not only introduced haute cuisine to Peru, but also brought the culinary diversity of Peru to award-winning dining. Since 1999, when his wife opened his eyes to local cooking styles, Acurio has embraced his native culture and experimented with local ingredients to create his own recipe for success. Since then, both have sought out interesting new products for original and creative dishes that have been exported from distant Peru and brought its flavours to the world. Astrid Gutsche and Gastón Acurio launched a gastro-cultural revolution that has fundamentally changed Peru.

Today, the couple presides over the kitchen at the Casa Moreyra in Lima, an impressive 18th century San Isidro residence, which “Astrid y Gastón” moved to in 2014. They now own 50 restaurants and businesses worldwide.

As entrepreneurs, Astrid Gutsche and Gastón Acurio recognised their social and environmental responsibility at an early stage: In 2007, they opened Peru’s first subsidized culinary school with low, almost symbolic, fees in a low-income, humble district of Lima to provide up-and-coming chefs from the area with an opportunity for professional success. The use of regional products in their exceptional dishes shows a deep understanding of sustainability and not only sends a strong signal for Peru, but also for responsible use of resources at global level.

Partners since 2012, the BMW Group and the ECKART 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.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Corporate Communications BMW Group
Julian Hetzenecker, Business and Financial Communications, julian.hetzenecker@bmw.de
Telephone: +49 89 382-39229

Media website: www.press.bmw.de
Email: presse@bmw.de

Press contact ECKART Academy
Otto Geisel
Lachner-Straße 18
80639 München
Phone: +49 89 139 260 26

Additional information on the Eckart Witzigmann Award can be found at:

The BMW Group
With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. The BMW Group production network comprises 30 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries; the company has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.
In 2017, the BMW Group sold over 2,463,500 passenger vehicles and more than 164,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax in the financial year 2017 was € 10.655 billion on revenues amounting to € 98.678 billion. As of 31 December 2017, the BMW Group had a workforce of 129,932 employees.
The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.