BON VIVANT COMMUNICATIONS

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CENTRAL EUROPEAN CULINARY OASIS TAUBENKOBEL OPENS FOR SEASON 2018

This weekend a favourite culinary gem of Central-Europe, Taubenkobel, opened its main restaurant for the season.

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“Taubenkobel?”, you might say while forcing your tongue to doing the right German pronunciation. But yes, Taubenkobel it is; a place made of dreams.

Spending time with Barbara and Alain, the co-owners of the family run boutique hotel and restaurant Taubenkobel in Austria, one easily becomes completely absorbed by their warmth and palpable veracity. You instantly feel at home.

Once the cheapest house in Burgenland, Taubenkobel now boasts 12 luxurious and unique suites, an exquisite restaurant and the more casual “Greisslerei” (16/20 point by Gault Millau) next door, beautiful gardens and a small lake, transformed to be used as a natural swimming pool.

Taubenkobel is a place where you leave your phone next to the gramofon in your room and forget about the world outside. It’s a place where you fall in love with life close to you.

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Widely acclaimed amongst culinary opinion makers, the restaurant at Taubenkobel was awarded with two Michelin stars up until the guide unfortunately stopped rating in Austria outside Vienna and Salzburg.

Rated 18/20 by Gault and Millau, a very high rating, with the highest possible score of 20 having only ever been given twice in the guide’s fifty years.

Add to this accolade 5* in A la Carte as well as 96 points of 100 in Falstaff – two of the German-speaking countries most respected culinary publications. Taubenkobel was also picked amongst Forbes’ “Coolest Places to Eat” in 2016.

Press play and discover the beauty.

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But Taubenkobel is everything but pretentious and everything but constructed to some model for the ‘most coveted dining experience’. What Barbara and Alain passes onto their guests, friends and family is something truly authentic, based on a philosophy of unity and sustainability.

The kitchen at Taubenkobel takes you through a storytelling of the area and creativity mind of Alain Weissgerber, also leaving no doubt that a strong and dedicated man has created the menu.

The food has a deep feeling of the countryside,- alround created, combined and executed in a way that both comforts and conquerers eye, heart, tastebud and belly of the diner. It simply has terroir and blends perfectly in with the remaining experience of Taubenkobel. Supreme quality, creative, tasty as hell, fun and playful without being pretentious.

Read also: Barbara Eselböck celebrated as Austrian Maìtre of The Year.

Go before your friends, or even better, bring them along. Taubenkobel is made for long nights on the terrace, having dinner with loved ones, celebrating life.

Taubenkobel is situated 45 minutes South-East of Vienna, very close to Hungary. Please find directions, news, menu, rooms etc at Taubenkobel’s website.

In case of interest or/and press, please contact Kristian Brask Thomsen at:

ambassador@bon-vivant.dk

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Bon Vivant Communication is a culinary embassy representing star chefs and restaurants, chateaux and high-end wineries as well as working close together with various luxury hotels, gourmets festivals and bespoke concierges services.

The diplomacy speaks to a strong network of 600 journalists, bloggers and writers, as well as 2500 luxury diners around the globe.

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Hungry for more? Read this in-depth review with film by Anders Husa.

THOMAS TROISGROS OF OLYMPE COOKS AT VILLANOS EN BERMUDAS IN BOGOTÁ

This Saturday the Brazilian-French favourite Thomas Troisgros of Olympe in Rio de Janeiro visits the beloved afro villains of Villanos en Bermudas in Bogotá.‬

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‪Twelve foremost chefs of the Americas have already guest cooked in the buzzing town house in the Chapinero-quarter of Bogotá, such as Rodolfo Guzmán of famed Boragó in Santiago, Noma co-founder Mads Refslund and Mexican Mayor of Flavour Francisco ‘Paco’ Ruano of Alcalde in Guadalajara.

Yes, even 2017 Latin America’s Best Female Chef Leonor Espinosa of Leo located in same city Bogotá has been by the two villains’ kitchen to cook.‬

THOMAS TROISGROS

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Thomas Troisgros follows in the culinary footsteps of a globally famed family and runs the kitchen at the Michelin-accoladed Olympe in Rio de Janeiro that also holds a position as #17 at Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants List.

Part of the fourth generation of a chefs’ clan that helped to build part of the contemporary gastronomy, Thomas Troisgros was born in Rio de Janeiro and started his gastronomic career when he was ten years old, in France with his grandfather Pierre and his uncle Michel.

With a degree from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Thomas worked with the chef and mentor Daniel Boulud in New York City, and at Mugaritz and Arzak in San Sebastian. When he came back to Brazil, he worked in the restaurants of his family until he took over the kitchen of the Michelin-starred restaurant Olympe, founded in 1984 by his father Claude Troisgros.

At Olympe, he follows the steps of his father, esteeming the combination of French techniques and Brazilian ingredients with a contemporary glance.  In charge of Olympe kitchen the award-winning chef is also owner of T.T. Burger and partner of Troisgros Brazil Group.

In addition Señor Troisgros is a great supporter of Gastromotiva, an organization that promotes social change through gastronomy.‬

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VILANOS EN BERMUDAS

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Heart, courage, creativity, vision and the grandes cojones of two respectful, yet very unimpressed future chef jefes, is what Villanos en Bermudas is all about. The restaurant’s name, in English “villains – the bad guys – in shorts” says it all.

Light-spirited but straight to the point with very curly minds, creating their own imaginary vision of a culinary beauty moment should be like in real life, and doing so in a quirky yet very impressive three-story side alley colonial-style town house in the heart of Bogotá.

For these guys it hasn’t been so much the destination as much as the journey here. Both of them have amassed great international experience from working in diverse kitchens, everywhere from Copenhagen over Hong Kong to Mexico.

With that combined formular Argentinean Nicolás ‘Nico’ López  and Mexican Sergio Meza has shaken things up in Bogotá lately. So much so that their ambiguously named restaurant landed a first entry 40th spot on the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurant List less than a year after opening its doors.

This is your chance to experience not only the afro villains’ rebellious cooking, but also to see how they work Troisgros’ cooking that aims for the perfect balance between French elegance and Brazilian soul.

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DETAILS IN SHORT

What: Thomas Troisgros at Villanos en Bermudas.

When: Saturday March 2nd.

Where: Calle 56 #5-21, Bogotá, Soacha, Cundinamarca, Colombia

Reservations: (+57) 211-1259.

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For press inquiries please contact Kristian Brask Thomsen at:

ambassador@bon-vivant.dk

Bon Vivant Communications is a culinary embassy representing star chefs and restaurants, chateaux and high-end wineries as well as working close together with various luxury hotels, gourmets festivals and bespoke concierges services.

The diplomacy speaks to a strong network of 600 journalists, bloggers and writers, as well as 3000+ luxury diners around the globe.

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Hungry for more? Dig into this in-depth US-article on Villanos en Bermudas.

DINING IMPOSSIBLE 25 – BARCELONA – EDITION EXTRAORDINAIRE


The first gourmet raid of the dining season and epic all-time favourite Barcelona. Spain’s second city and the self-confident capital of Catalonia – including the twice celebrated world’s No. 1 in Girona.

We enter the mouthwatering metropolis in May, offering an otherworldly allround in-depth culinary experience to pleasure aficionados flying in from around the globe.

4 days – 5 unique dining venues – 12 Michelin stars – 1 great dinner party.

Wednesday May 23 – Thursday May 24 – Friday May 25 – Saturday May 26.

14 notabilities only.

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THE MENU

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Wednesday, May 23rd

Chapter 1 – The elBulli Alumni

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Disfrutar means “to enjoy” and there is no doubt that the three sterling chefs behind this restaurant delivers in full.

In Spain this glorious trifecta is pretty famous, thanks to their pure and utter devotion to elBulli – with a joint accumulation of more than 45 years of experience at the 5-times voted “The World’s Best Restaurant”, including long hours at El Bulli Taller and the innovation lab.

From the beginning to its last day on July 30, 2011, Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casanas were a part of the creative core team that innovated endlessly and ultimately through these heavily documented experiments, that changed the way we understand food today.


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“The ultimate dinner party” – Forbes Magazine

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Even though there are many similarities then don’t be fooled; Disfrutar does not pretend to be elBulli – it’s very much its own.

Like other art movements, after the revolution caused by the most imaginative generator of haute cuisine on the planet, we are in the saturation point of this style as Disfrutar has returned to a more simplistic state and one with a strong focus on nature and techniques that get back to the rawness of cooking: fire, maturation, faisandage and fermentation.

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“If the art of seduction could be boiled down to a tasting menu, this would surely be it” a very esteemed local food critic wrote.

That’s exactly the intention, to be seduced, going all-in with a 35-serving grand tasting menu – in a restaurant that pushes the envelope while never losing its Mediterranean sense of place.

Disfrutar was without a doubt the most anticipated Spain-opening of 2015 and today it’s already one of the most sought after restaurants of the latin Kingdom, rising at rocket speed on all influential restaurant ranking lists in the world.

A pivotal of international diners to visit when being in town – sending them off caressed, challenged and dazzled, wanting to come back for more of the magic. Being loyal to excellence Distrutar is our shiny new diamond of Catalonia.

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After the grand dinner at Disfrutar, the party enters the Barcelona’s Golden Quarter and a lively lounge club, having seducing cocktails and sets by the best current DJs.

Dress code: Classy laissez faire.

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“The most coveted dinner ticket in the world.” – Huffington Post

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Thursday, May 24th

Chapter 2 – The World’s Twice No. 1

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The passion for cooking and hospitality shared by the three Roca brothers is palpable, but the food is playful rather than serious (caramelised olives are brought to the table on bonsai trees) and Catalan ingredients are given centre-stage on the menu.

Superior techniques complement simple flavour combinations designed to titillate the palate and the memory rather than confuse the mind. It’s very clever stuff – but thankfully it is also utterly delicious.

El Celler de Can Roca holds three stars in Guide Michelin and was voted the “World’s Best Restaurant” in 2013 and 2015, and currently holds a third place at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. The first time the restaurant was named No. 1, its website had 12 million hits.

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“The world’s best dinner party” – The Telegraph

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This highly internationally acclaimed restaurant, featuring the stylish, laid back and world renowned staff of El Celler de Can Roca, offers Champagne, a grande feast, an extensive wine menu, mineral water, gourmet tea/coffee, delicious petit fours and avecs, all served in a semi-private dining room.

Furthermore, a private guided tour of the kitchen and “battle station” of the restaurant and a tour of the large wine cellar, which stores around 60000 bottles.

11 month’s waiting list. Reservation Impossible.

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The journey to and from El Celler de Can Roca in Girona (100 kilometers north of Barcelona) will be made in stretch limousines, accompanied by bubbles after attending a Champagne reception in the dazzling Vienés-rooms at the iconic Casa Fuster.

Dress code: Formal elegance.

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“The best dinner ticket in international circles.” – Austrialian Financial

Friday, May 25th.

Chapter 3 – The Young Master

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Gastronomy is the fundamental axis of the ABaC project.

The restaurant has been awarded 2 Michelin stars and run by Chef Jordi Cruz, who earned his first star at the tender age of 24, becoming the youngest chef in Spain and the second youngest in the world to have been awarded this accolade.

The strong promise he represents within the panorama of Spanish Cuisine was clearly recognised from that moment on and in 2018 ABaC was added to the prestigious collection of Spanish three-starred Michelin restaurants.

This evening, featuring Jordi Cruz and the impeccable staff of Restaurant ABaC at the stylish boutique luxury hotel of same name, it will be offering champagne, The Grand ABaC Menu, a connoisseur wine menu, mineral water, gourmet coffee/tea, delicious petit fours and avecs in the beautiful Salon Privée.

Restaurant ABaC has been awarded “Best Restaurant of Catalonia”. One of those rare gems, totally on top of its game, must be experienced before a single thing changes.

After a wonderful dinner at ABaC, the party enters the Barcelona behind the scenes to a laid back vibes and supreme drinks.

Dress code: Every Night is a Friday Night.

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Saturday, May 26th.

Chapter 4 – Breakfast at Tickets / Feast at Lasarte

Having returned to Barcelona by limousines when the birds starts to sing, we 9 hours later enter the famous, glorious, adventurous and notorious Tickets for a dazzling late breakfast in the early afternoon.

It is the beating culinary heart of Albert Adrià’s ambitious but straightforward goal; to convert Barcelona into the culinary capital of Europe.

While Ferran Adrià’s focus shifted to the El Bulli Foundation, a program dedicated to transforming the former restaurant into a competitive cooking school, Albert’s attention returned to Barcelona full time.

“If anyone can transform an entire neighbourhood into a gigantic restaurant, it is Albert Adrià – one of the best cooks in the world,” says the Basque chef Juan Mari Arzak, who met Albert through Ferran when Albert was just 17 years old. “He’s always been a lively, quick-witted and extremely inventive individual. There aren’t many chefs who can match his creativity.”

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The stage is set for a magnificent show: La Vida Tapa.

At Tickets, gastronomy is linked to a way of understanding life. In this respect you will find humour, a great deal of character and a longer than long elaborated tapas menu extraordinaire. Expect elBulli classics as well as new wizardry combinations conceived by a great culinary mastermind.

You may feel as though you are a spectator at the circus or about to sit down to a live theatre, but one thing you will not experience is boredom. Expect to encounter olives which are not actually olives, cotton candy trees studded with fruits and mouth watering Iberian cured ham which is found sneaked into mini hollow “air baguettes” or painted on top of fresh tuna belly.

At a late morning of surprises we’ll wake up in the circus-come-theatre-come-restaurant that is Tickets.

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“The world’s wildest dinner party” – Vice Magazine

Lasarte

Dinner Extraordinaire at Lasarte

Barcelona’s reputation as a destination city for fine dining has mushroomed. But until recently, it did not have a restaurant with three Michelin stars. Finally, in the 2017 guide, Lasarte Restaurant became the first in Barcelona to receive so.

Lasarte is more about evolution than revolution. Although head chef Paolo Casagrande is in charge on a day-to-day basis – and deserves much of the acclaim for Lasarte’s success – the big name on the door is Martín Berasategui.

The Basque chef also has three stars at his eponymous restaurant near San Sebastián and one at MB in Tenerife. In other words, he indeed knows how to impress the Michelin inspectors.

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Lasarte is a world-class restaurant. Every dish – without exception – works. It is the absolute embodiment of culinary sure-footedness. That overwhelming competence can, ironically, negatively affect your initial impressions.

You should feel dazzled but at times Lasarte makes brilliance look so easy that it doesn’t seem like anything special. So pinch yourself and pay attention: this is masterful cooking. It’s not showy and not whizz-bang exuberant. It’s not even particularly photogenic. But it’s an iron fist of flavour in a velvet glove of elegance.

Lasarte has evolved over time and is now at the peak of its powers. The restaurant’s service is refined and its accomplished cooking has a distinctive character. It deserves all of the praise and recognition it has received.

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“Plenty of people throw good dinner parties; few hosts are so successful they take their soirees around the world.” – The Wall Street Journal

Famous

Famous by day, notorious by night.

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After the last grand dinner, we’ll end up in the Barceloneta district and rise up to the 26th floor to W Hotel’s exclusive Eclipse, where the freshest cocktails are complemented by world-class DJs and live performances, all inspired by its stunning Mediterranean setting and edgy London personality.

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Flirty with a touch of whimsy, Eclipse has changed the face of Barcelona’s nightlife and established itself as the city’s ultimate entertainment lifestyle destination for local tastemakers and global jetsetters.

Dining Impossible has private tables by the dance floor where bubbly bottles awaits, overlooking Barcelona and its beaches. Here we end 96 remarkable hours in style.

DI 25.

DETAILS

Dining Impossible 25 – Barcelona is the full experience. Besides the extraordinaire dinners, it also includes receptions, selected transport and after parties at exclusive spots with a range of drinks, beverages and canapés.

All dinners include full wine/beer/cocktail menus predetermined with the respectful sommeliers, as well as mineral water, various taxes and gratuity.

As always the guest list remains a secret to the public and will only be shared in detail amongst the participants. Menus and wines will be served découverte, meaning presented and discovered on the night of the dinner parties as a part of the full-blown Catalan storytelling.

Price per cover is confidential. Please enter RSVP or contact Kristian Brask Thomsen at ambassador@bon-vivant.dk for further information.

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“Billed by Forbes Magazine as “the ultimate dinner party” and by Huffington Post as “the world’s most coveted dinner tickets”; Dining Impossible is a three-day gastronomic bender organized by culinary ambassador Kristian Brask Thomsen.”

– Sydney Morning Herald.

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MICHELIN GUIDE TO THE NORDIC COUNTRIES 2018 – THE FULL LIST

Grand Celebration! Michelin picked its favourites of the Nordics that now includes 3 three-starred, 7 two-starred and 54 one-starred restaurants.

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(updated continuously for potential quick errors)

Monday, February 19th the awards of Guide Michelin Nordic 2018 was held at a full City Hall in Copenhagen, recognising the absolute best restaurants of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland.

IN TOTAL

3 three-starred, 7 two-starred, 54 one-starred restaurants.

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3 MICHELIN STARS

Denmark

Geranium, Copenhagen

Norway

Maaemo, Oslo

Sweden

Frantzėn, Stockholm (new)

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2 MICHELIN STARS 

Denmark

AOC, Copenhagen

Kadeau, Copenhagen (new)

Henne Kirkeby Kro, Henne

Sweden

Oaxen Krog, Stockholm

Vollmers, Malmö

Daniel Berlin, Tomelilla (new)

Fäviken Magasinet, Järpen

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* – A very good restaurant in its category. ** – Excellent cooking, worth a detour. *** – Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.

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1 MICHELIN STAR

Denmark (Copenhagen)

108, Copenhagen

CLOU, Copenhagen

Era Ora, Copenhagen

Formel B, Copenhagen

Kiin Kiin, Copenhagen

Kokkeriet, Copenhagen

Kong Hans Kælder, Copenhagen

Marchal, Copenhagen

Relæ, Copenhagen

Søllerød Kro, Copenhagen

STUD!O, Copenhagen

Jordnær, Copenhagen (new)

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1 MICHELIN STAR

Denmark (Provinces)

Frederikshøj, Aarhus

Gastromé, Aarhus

Substans, Aarhus

Domestic, Aarhus

Frederiksminde, Præstø

Slotskøkkenet Dragsholm, Hørve

Kadeau, Aakirkeby

Ti Trin Ned, Fredericia

MeMu, Vejle (new)

KOKS, Thorshavn (Faroe Islands)

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Read also: “Michelin Stars – Tales from the kitchen” – a grand documentary.

Michael Ellis, Managing Director of Guide Michelin.

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1 MICHELIN STAR

Sweden (Stockholm)

Ekstedt, Stockholm

Esperanto, Stockholm

Gastrologik, Stockholm

Imouto, Stockholm

Mathias Dahlgren Matbaren, Stockholm

Operakallaren, Stockholm

Sushi Sho, Stockholm

Volt, Stockholm

Aloë, Stockholm (new)

Agrikultur, Stockholm (new)

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1 MICHELIN STAR

Sweden (Provinces)

Bhoga, Göteborg

Koka, Göteborg

SK Mat & Manniskor, Göteborg

Thornstroms Kok, Göteborg

Restaurang 28+, Göteborg

Upper House, Göteborg

Bloom in the Park, Malmö

Sture, Malmö

SAV, Malmö (new)

Hotel Borgholm, Borgholm

PM & Vänner, Växjö

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In 1900 the tire manufacturers André Michelin and his brother Édouard published the first edition of a guide for French motorists. At the time there were fewer than 3,000 cars in France, and the Michelin guide was intended to boost the demand for cars, and thus for car tires.

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1 MICHELIN STAR

Norway

Kontrast, Oslo

Statholdergaarden, Oslo

Galt, Oslo (new)

RE-NAA, Stavanger

Sabi Omakase, Stavanger

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1 MICHELIN STAR

Finland

Ask, Helsinki

Demo, Helsinki

Ora, Helsinki

Olo, Helsinki

Grön, Helsinki (new)

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1 MICHELIN STAR

Iceland

Dill, Rejkavik

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Cosy shelf parade at CLOU in Copenhagen.

Bon Vivant Communications is a culinary embassy representing star chefs and restaurants, chateaux and high-end wineries as well as working close together with various luxury hotels, gourmets festivals and bespoke concierges services.

The diplomacy speaks to a strong network of 600 journalists, bloggers and writers, as well as 3000+ luxury diners around the globe.

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Hungry for more? Have a look Behind the Scenes.

COPENHAGEN STAR CHEF JONATHAN BERNTSEN ENTERS CAPITAL CLUB BAHRAIN

The premier private club of the Middle Eastern Monarchy invites Copenhagen Star Chef Jonathan Berntsen of CLOU to Bahrain.

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Following a hectic 2017, including successfully moving an entire Michelin-operation from one dazzling dining room to another practically overnight, then Michelin Chef Jonathan Berntsen of CLOU charges 2018 in the same pace.

First by entering the Kingdom of Bahrain, where he for three days cooks for patrons, sheikhs and international socialites at Capital Club Bahrain on the 52nd floor of the prominent Bahrain Financial Harbour Manama.

Jonathan Berntsen’s presence at Capital Club Bahrain is a part of Celebrity Chef Series; an initiative that began in mid-2016 and continued through all 2017, with interest international chefs such as Paulo Airaudo of Amelia in San Sebastián, Thomas Troisgros of Olympe in Rio de Janeiro, Gerardo Vazquez Lugo of Nico in Mexico City and Latin America’s Best Female Chef 2016 Kamilla Seidler.

Capital Club Bahrain.

The Jade Dining Room.

Suitable attire.

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The aim of the series is to improve restaurant offering in Bahrain by hosting and collaborating with top chefs from across the world each month in 2017.

Capital Club is Bahrain’s premier private city club where members meet, mingle, dine and unwind in exclusive surroundings while enjoying the Kingdom’s finest hospitality and networking opportunities. With a commitment to the exclusivity, Capital Club is a membership-based institution and its premises are for the exclusive use of members and their guests only.

Located on the 51st and 52nd levels of the prominent Bahrain Financial Harbour, boasting the Kingdom’s best views, members enjoy privileged access to sister clubs in Dubai and East Africa, plus over 250 leading private business and recreational global clubs as part of the International Associate Club.

“Our Chef Series initiative has grown from strength to strength and we are thrilled with the support from our government and celebrity chefs from around the world in the past one year, and we continue to develop the next generation of Bahraini talent by working with BIHR. We have a very exciting line up for the first quarter of 2018, which will accelerate our efforts to put Bahrain on the culinary world map”, says Capital Club General Manager, Sumeet Jhingan.

Jonathan Berntsen is taught in France and techniques used at CLOU are mostly of French, Italian and Spanish origin, though the restaurant also takes great pride in using the best of Nordic produce in its cooking, being very oriented to the outstanding fresh sea produce of the Danish region.

CLOU is a very personal restaurant that desires to make its guests feel at home. To this, the personal touch is important. From own art on the walls, to grand parents’ silverware on the beautifully set tables. The food and wine combinations have been key at restaurant since the beginning. In fact that is what’s most important at CLOU.

Highly unusually the starting point is the wine, and then chefs match the food. Even more unusual; in Copenhagen – the cradle of Nordic Cuisine – CLOU is a local top restaurant with cooking inspired by Southern European Cuisine.

CLOU recently moved location; to the perfect spot to continue and further enhance the restaurant’s culinary journey at the bourgeois-bohemian part of Østerbro Quarter, a javelin throw from the beloved lakes of Copenhagen.

Here an even more intimate restaurant experience is created, with 20 guests only for a formidable 20+ servings set menu paired with cult wines par excellence in taking the allround CLOU-experience up to the next level.

CLOU has since 2013 received four 1-star ratings from Guide Michelin and amongst pleased food critics the restaurant is described as a restaurant being “classic with an unusual, extraordinary twist”. CLOU was named “Danish Restaurant of the Year 2016/17” by The Danish Dining Guide.

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DETAILS IN SHORT

What: Capital Club Bahrain’s Celebrity Chef Series

Who: Chef Jonathan Berntsen of CLOU

When: Tuesday 30th January till Thursday 1st February serving lunch and dinner

Where: Signature Gril, 52nd Floor, Harbour Towers East, Manama, Bahrain

Menu: 3 Course Menu 30BD net per person with welcome drinks

Reservations: 1700100 or email yousef.buenaobra@capitalclubbahrain.com

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For press inquiries on Jonathan Bertnsen, please contact Bon Vivant at:

ambassador@bon-vivant.dk

Bon Vivant Communications is a culinary embassy representing star chefs and restaurants, chateaux and high-end wineries as well as working close together with various luxury hotels, gourmets festivals and bespoke concierges services.

The diplomacy speaks to a strong network of 600 journalists, bloggers and writers, as well as 3000+ luxury diners around the globe.

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Hungry for more?

LATIN AMERICA’S HIGHEST NEW ENTRY ALCALDE INVITES VILLANOS EN BERMUDAS TO COOK IN MEXICO

Guadalajara’s finest invites the villains of Bogotá to cook at its 5th anniversary.

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One of our favourite restaurants in Mexico, Alcalde in Guadalajara by local culinary hero Francesco Ruano, celebrates its 5th anniversary and invites the beloved afro villains of Villanos en Bermudas in Bogotá, Nico López and Sergio Meza, to cook during a grand anniversary celebration day in Mexico.

Saturday January 20th 2018.

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In the five years since its opening, Alcalde’s star has quickly ascended, winning the “One To Watch Award” in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2016, and in 2017 entering the coveted list as “Highest New Entry”, taking an impressive 36th spot home to Guadalajara. 

Chef Francisco ‘Paco’ Ruano’s simple, yet deep-flavoured Mexican cooking in a stylish, welcoming setting in Mexico’s second city simply make diners want to return again and again. And with good reason.

Francisco ‘Paco’ Ruano.

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Paco honed his skills on cruise ships in Alaska and the Caribbean before enrolling at the Luis Irizar Cooking School in Spain.

He went on to work at esteemed restaurants such as Mugaritz and El Celler de Can Roca in Spain and Noma in Denmark, with European cuisine now clearly influencing his flavourfull cooking at Alcalde, though the products used solely is of the absolute pristine Atzec-kind.

Now Guadalajara’s finest celebrates his beloved restaurant’s anniversary by inviting hermanos, being the very up and coming curly minds of Villanos en Bermudas to come cook both a collaboration lunch and dinner at Alcalde.

And knowing these Bogotá-based Mexican and Argentinean afro tops added the culinary party makers of Guadalajara especially, then everyone who travels to Tequila-land for this celebration is in for fun-loving trouble extraordinaire.

Los Villanos.

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Paco and the Villanos have previously cooked together – this past August at the villains’ sizzling three-story culinary town house in the Chapinero-quarter of Bogotá, where twelve foremost chefs of the Americas already have guest cooked since the opening 15 months ago.

Since then these two daring expats have shaken things up on the Latin Americans culinary map. So much that their ambiguously named restaurant landed a first entry 40th spot on the coveted Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants List less than a year after opening its doors.

Heart, courage, creativity, vision and the grandes cojones of two respectful, yet very unimpressed future chef jefes, is what Villanos en Bermudas is all about. The restaurant’s name, in English “villains – the bad guys – in shorts” says it all.

Light-spirited but straight to the point with very curly minds, creating their own imaginary vision of a culinary beauty moment should be like in real life, and doing so in a quirky yet very impressive three-story side alley colonial-style town house in the heart of Bogotá.

The villains return Paco’s kind favour with honour and the charismatic personalities accented by groomed afros will soon enter Guadalajara for this grand culinary festivitas.

Alcade’s friendly prankster flyer to the Villanos who’s known for their humoristic marketing. View why here.

This is your chance to experience not only Francisco Ruano’s elegant cooking of Guadalajara’s DNA but also how how he works with a the curly minds of the afro villains from Bogotá, coming to Mexico to offer their friend a real treat.

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DETAILS IN SHORT

What: Villanos en Bermudas cooking at Alcalde’s Anniversary.

Who: Nico López, Sergio Meza and Paco Ruano.

When: Saturday January 20th.

Where: Alcalde, Av. México 2903, Vallarta Nte., Guadalajara.

Menu: 9 course collaboration menu at $1,750 pesos per person.

Reservations: +33 3615 7400 or through website.

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For press inquiries on Villanos en Bermudas, please contact Bon Vivant at:

ambassador@bon-vivant.dk

Bon Vivant Communications is a culinary embassy representing star chefs and restaurants, chateaux and high-end wineries as well as working close together with various luxury hotels, gourmets festivals and bespoke concierges services.

The diplomacy speaks to a strong network of 600 journalists, bloggers and writers, as well as 3000+ luxury diners around the globe.

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Hungry for more? Read The World’s 50 Best’ feature on Francisco Ruano.

THE BALBI-AIRAUDO COLLABORATION DINNER AT HAKU IN HONG HONG

In a move guaranteed to delight Hong Kong’s epicureans, a special collaboration is created between chefs Paulo Airaudo and Agustin Balbi.

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What follows a hectic 2017 for chef Paulo Airaudo, where he entered San Sebastián and remarkably early earned a seat at the high table of grand chef in one of the most recognised culinary destinations of the world.

The ambitious Argentinean-native now charges 2018 with same appetite, starting out by joining forces with chef Agustin Balbi of also newly opened and quickly celebrated HAKU in Hong Kong. The two chefs cook a grand joint-dinner for two nights only in the dazzling jewel of South East Asia.

Situated in the burgeoning lifestyle hub of Harbour City, modern Japanese restaurant HAKU opened in 2017 under the auspices of three Michelin star Chef Hideaki Matsuo. Under the watchful eye of his Argentina-born Executive Chef Agustin Balbi, Haku has become one of the hottest eateries in town, featuring innovative ingredients prepared through traditional Japanese techniques.

In a move guaranteed to delight Hong Kong’s epicureans, a special collaborationis created with Chef Paulo Airaudo, the Argentinean-native who opened his first personal venture, Amelia, in the majestic and heavily accoladed San Sebastián and nabbed his first Michelin star just 7 months after.

The joint eight-course menu adheres to Haku’s kappo style of dining, with dishes embracing the five primary cooking techniques of grilling, steaming, frying, simmering and raw preparations.

From Airaudo, expect to see such mouthwatering dishes as scallops with pepper consommé, celeriac cacao e pepe with back truffle, and duck with humita and pine. Meanwhile, Balbi will showcase signatures including Haku’s Polmard beef with Kristal caviar, and king crab paired with Koshihikari rice and togarashi.

HAKU is named as one of the best new restaurants in Hong Kong, with the city looking forward to what 2018 has in store for this Harbour City gem. This two-night collaboration dinner is guaranteed to be a showstopper.

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DETAILS IN SHORT

What: The Balbi-Airaudo Collaboration Dinner.

Who: August Balbi (Hong Kong) and Paulo Airaudo (San Sebastián).

When: Saturday January 20th, Sunday January 21st.

Where: Haku, Shop OT G04B, G/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, Hong Kong.

Menu: 8 course collaboration menu at HK$1,980 plus 10% surcharge per person.

Reservations: +852 2115 9965.

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For press inquiries on Paulo Airaudo please contact Kristian Brask Thomsen at:

ambassador@bon-vivant.dk

Bon Vivant Communications is a culinary embassy representing star chefs and restaurants, chateaux and high-end wineries as well as working close together with various luxury hotels, gourmets festivals and bespoke concierges services.

The diplomacy speaks to a strong network of 600 journalists, bloggers and writers, as well as 3000+ luxury diners around the globe.

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Hungry for more? Have a look at when Amelia was awarded a Michelin star.

 

BON VIVANT LOVES VILLANOS EN BERMUDAS – THE DYNAMIC DUO SHAKING UP BOGOTÁ


It’s with grand pleasure that we announce a new partnership with the – perhaps – most interesting new restaurant in Latin America, created by the curly cool Argentinean Nicolás López alongside the ginger afro Mexican Sergio Meza.

We bring you Villanos en Bermudas; or villains – the bad guys – in shorts, straight out of Bogotá, Colombia.

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It can be a challenge to describe the two young and talented chefs spearheading the massively popular restaurant Villanos en Bermudas located in Bogotá.

With combined experience from restaurants all over the world they bring raw talent, an eye for design and detail, and charismatic personalities accented by perfectly groomed afros.

Nicolás ‘Nico’ López, 34, and Sergio Meza, 27, have certainly shaken things up on the Latin Americans culinary map lately. So much so that their ambiguously named restaurant landed a first entry 40th spot on the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurant List less than a year after opening its doors.

So let’s try…

Heart; courage, creativity, vision and the grandes cojones of two respectful yet very unimpressed future chef jefes, is what Villanos en Bermudas is all about. The restaurant’s name,- in English “villains in shorts” says it all.

Light-spirited but straight to the point with very curly minds, creating their own imaginary vision of how your culinary beauty moment should be like in real life, and doing so in a quirky yet very impressive three-story side alley colonial-style town house in the heart of Bogotá.

For these guys it hasn’t been so much the destination as much as the journey here. Both of them have amassed great international experience from working in diverse kitchens, everywhere from Copenhagen over Hong Kong to Mexico.

It was in Santiago, Chile however, that Argentinian Nico and Mexican Sergio would meet for the first time in 2012. At the time Sergio was working as Head Chef for I+D in the city and Nico had just came back from a job in New York City. A mutual friend of them, whom Sergio met when working at Noma introduced them, and the rest is – by far – history.

The story had just begun as it would be almost 4 years before the two curly chefs would meet up again. After their introduction, Nico moved to Chile where he opened a restaurant called “99”. Around the same time, Sergio worked in Hong Kong for a while before moving back to Guadalajara in Mexico.

It was here that Sergio received a phone call from Nico that would reunite them again after three and a half years and result in the creation of Villanos en Bermudas; a fun-loving restaurant that takes the stiffness out of what people consider fine dining, with a no-menu policy, a playful cuisine, colourful cartoon marketing and a cleverly crafted moniker that proves these guys don’t to take themselves too seriously.

Superstar Chef Rodolfo Guzmán of Boragó at Villanos en Bermudas.

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The restaurant is spread out over three floors, whereas the first floor serves as the main dining room with an open style kitchen. Second floor is the cool bar area, where they offer an array of custom made cocktails and spirits infused with fruits and herbs on site. The third floor is a more intimate dining area with only 16 seats, giving it more of a chefs’ table feel that houses another open kitchen with sight lines between the diners and the cooking talent.

The bubbling creativity not only shows in the creative cooking, where pineapple easily can be served as a savoury course and cauliflower transformed into a dessert, but also in the aesthetics of the interior.

Unlike many of their peers, the walls at Villanos en Bermudas aren’t filled with expensive artwork, nor are their ceilings adorned with unique chandeliers.

Read also: Villanos en Bermudas’ 50 Best Talk Latin America.

Pastry Princess Alejandra Hurtado at Villanos en Bermudas.

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Stepping into the restaurant you are greeted by disco balls and custom-made graphic posters. Interpretations of pop culture references from The Simpsons, Super Mario and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are but a few of the posters decorating the walls serving two different purposes.

“It’s about being entertaining while not being over the top, but definitely showing off our personalities. We encourage people to have fun while they are here”, Sergio explains and continues;

“We don’t want people to feel like they have to sit and be quiet during all the nine courses, so this is a free haven where you can be noisy and have fun. We have our own graphic designer in house who does all of our promotion including the posters, menus, flyers and such. We feed him the ideas and he brings them to life,”

– adding that the posters are also used for promotion for events when they have guest chefs across continents flying in.

Guadalajara’s Francisco ‘Paco’ Ruano at Villanos en Bermudas.

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Twelve foremost chefs of the Americas have already guest cooked in the buzzing town house in the Chapinero-quarter of Bogotá, such as Rodolfo Guzmán of famed Boragó in Santiago, Noma co-founder Mads Refslund in New York City, Mexican flavour prodigy Francisco ‘Paco’ Ruano of Alcalde in Guadalajara.

Yes, even 2017 Latin America’s Best Female Chef Leonor Espinosa of Leo located in same city Bogotá has been by the two villains’ kitchen to cook.

With all action standing still has not been a problem for these creative thinkers so far. They categorise their everyday changing tasting menu – a very unusual offer in the otherwise classic dining conservative Bogotá – as a simple setup with nine courses where seven are savoury and the last two are desserts.

On the menu there is always one main course but they try to steer away from using animal protein as much as possible, to introduce more fish to Bogotá.


The reason being that Colombia has two different oceans, the Caribbean and South Pacific, but still the native rarely eat fish as it isn’t considered high standards. The villains disagree and get their fish freshly delivered daily.

The mission is to show locals that ingredients from small producers you don’t normally use can be used in incredible ways. They also incorporate ingredients otherwise thought of as poor mans food, like beans and lentils.

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PERSONAL NOTE

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Three months ago I spend a week at and around Villanos en Bermudas during Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards, dined there twice, attended a rooftop BBQ and popped by the buzzing bar for drinks a couple of times too.

The daily changing menu was adventurous, fun, diverse and surprisingly fruity. It turns out that Colombia has very high quality in such and I still remember the alluring fresh-sweet-salty-creamy flavours of the pineapple with goat’s cheese and celeriac. Three ingredients is in general maximum on the villains’ plates.

But what I remember mostly about Villanos en Bermudas was a feeling. A feeling of belonging simply by being a guest in their culinary three-story bachelor house, which quickly also became my home away from home.

Above: With the villains at Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants Ceremony. Below: Yours truly at the 3rd floor fantasyland toilet at Villanos en Bermudas.

And here’s the thing; you can get superb food, delicious wines and outstanding decor in many places around the world. What makes a place like Villanos en Bermudas go beyond this, is the personalities within, the universe they create and the sincerity you feel when they share it with you.

I felt this sincerity when I first met Sergio Meza in 2012 at MAD Symposium in Copenhagen, where this, then, 22-year old rookie with grand ginger curls stood out in the crowd and we became friends.

The same sincerity I and everyone else who visit Villanos en Bermudas feel today. In fact it’s evident how all around the villains’ very much want them to succeed, and with good reason.

Everyone loves a good afro.

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Nico López and Sergio Meza exclusively offer their excellence to lectures, food festivals, consultancy and exclusive dinner parties.

In case of interest or/and press, please contact Kristian Brask Thomsen at:

ambassador@bon-vivant.dk

Bon Vivant Communications is a culinary embassy representing star chefs and restaurants, chateaux and high-end wineries as well as working close together with various luxury hotels, gourmets festivals and bespoke concierges services.

The diplomacy speaks to a strong network of 600 journalists, bloggers and writers, as well as 2500 luxury diners around the globe.

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Hungry for more? Dig into the in-depth US-article on Villanos en Bermudas.

BARRA CASCABEL: MEXICAN MICHELIN CHEF ROBERTO RUIZ TEAMS UP WITH JOSÉ AVILLEZ IN LISBON

Barra Cascabel by Madrid-based Mexican Michelin restaurant Punto MX arrives to Lisbon. Created in a partnership with José Avillez Group, making its debut in the Gourmet Experience at El Corte Inglés Lisboa.

Since December 22nd 2017.

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After the grand success of Salón Cascabel in Madrid, the fun-loving concept now enters Lisbon where it’ll offer authentic Mexican flavours and original cocktails based on Mezcal. It’s the result of a partnership between the marvellous Mexican chef Roberto Ruiz and the famous Portuguese José Avillez, who’s restaurant group will take on Barra Cascabel’s daily management.

Both Ruiz and Avillez believe in creating different and attractive concepts that their guests can enjoy. Additionally José Avillez has a great interest in world gastronomy and believes the best formula is to ally with the best of each ideas and themes to ensure a high quality of projects.

Barra Cascabel has the setting of a contemporary ‘antojería’, an informal place where the best antojitos and cocktails are to be shared amongst like-minded food lovers. Its gastronomy is easy to understand, close, fun and with a broad spectrum for all tastes. This in addition to being a dynamic menu that will be adapted for each season.

Chefs Roberto Ruiz and José Avillez.

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To Roberto Ruiz, a contemporary antojería preserves the handmade nature of traditional Mexican cuisine but looks to technology to pull off the perfect dish. And to go along with the dishes, nothing is better than the original cocktail menu that presents mezcal as the main player.

Barra Cascabel has an energetic and upbeat team, willing to create unforgettable moments in an edgy atmosphere while guiding the culinary experience of the guest, as Mexican food can be personalised to each ones palates. More or less spicy – more or less sauces.

“Our offer of Mexican food is daring, authentic and a lot of fun”, explains Roberto Ruiz, further adding; “The atmosphere is irrevent, edgy and both the team and place have a unique energy. It’s a restaurant full of personality and very intense, because when we think of Mexican food, we think of fun!”

“I’m interested in the different world cuisines and was somewhat sorry about Lisbon not having an offer as strong as other European cities”, says José Avillez; “it’s with great excitement that we start this partnership with chef Roberto Ruiz, the top reference of Mexican cuisine in Europe, and that we open Barra Cascabel!”

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ABOUT ROBERTO RUIZ

Roberto Ruiz, a Mexico City-native, defines himself as a chef who’s passionate about what he does, creative, technicist and innovative, without ever forgetting tradition. Determined, he insists on the importance of being able to offer authentic and surprising flavours as the main theme in each of his different gastronomic concepts.

Aside from Barra Cascabel in Lisbon, Roberto Ruiz’ world also includes: Punto MX in Madrid, the first Mexican restaurant in Europe to be awarded with a Michelin star and two Repsol suns, where he presents Mexican flavours under a cosmopolitan interpretation. Additionally Mezcal Lab, in Madrid, an unique concept to enjoy Punto MX’s most representative dishes of the last five years and new cocktail lines based on mezcal.

Also Salón Cascabel, in Madrid, a contemporary antojería that preserves the handmade nature of traditional cuisine. With unique dishes it offers the best authentic Mexican flavours with local products of the highest quality.

Cantina y Punto, in Bogotá, a partnership with Takami Group, the supreme most important group of the restaurant and hotel business in the Colombian capital; here Roberto Ruiz offers a diverse cuisine, inspired by the authentic Mexican flavours in an easy-going atmosphere.

Last but not least, the Huerto Ecológico (ecological orchard). An impressive 9 hectares orchard in Segovia, Spain, where more than 80 different species of Mexican products are grown which makes Ruiz’s places the only 100% self-sufficient Mexican restaurants in Europe.

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ABOUT JOSÉ AVILLEZ

Considered one of the absolute greatest Portuguese chefs, José Avillez stands out due to his enterprising spirit and his willingness to go one step further.

José Avillez Group, a reference in the restaurant business in Portugal, has several restaurants, each with a unique concept: Belcanto – the only Portuguese restaurant in Lisbon distinguished with two Michelin stars, and the only Portuguese restaurant included in the selection of the world’s 100 best restaurants by the prestigious “World’s Best Restaurants List”.

Additionally Beco, Mini Bar, and Bairro do Avillez (that includes different concepts), Taberna, Páteo, Beco – Cabaret Gourmet and Cantina Peruana, Cantinho do Avillez in Lisbon and Oporto. Café Lisboa, Pizzaria Lisboa, Pitaria, Cantina Zé Avillez and the places located in the Gourmet Experience at El Corte Inglés Lisboa – Tasca Chic, Jacaré and now, Barra Cascabel.

Apart from supporting the restaurants’ work, José Avillez’ team helps him develop his different projects, including his TV-shows, books, his signature wines, and the radio show he co-hosts.

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DETAILS IN SHORT

What: Barra Cascabel, Gourmet Experience, El Corte Inglés Lisboa – 7th floor.

Where: Av. Antonio Augusto de Aguiar 31, 1069-413 Lisbon, Portugal

www.saloncascabel.com @saloncascabel #EnchilandoLisboa

Opening hours: Sunday-Thursday: 12:00 to 23:00, Friday-Saturday: 12:00 to 00:00

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Roberto Ruiz exclusively offers his excellence to lectures, food festivals, consultancy and exclusive dinner parties.

In case of interest or/and press, please contact Kristian Brask Thomsen at:

ambassador@bon-vivant.dk

Bon Vivant Communications is a culinary embassy representing star chefs and restaurants, chateaux and high-end wineries as well as working close together with various luxury hotels, gourmets festivals and bespoke concierges services.

The diplomacy speaks to a strong network of 600 journalists, bloggers and writers, as well as 2500 luxury diners around the globe.

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Hungry for more? Dig into Ten Good Reasons to love Punto MX.

 

SEASONAL GREETINGS FROM BON VIVANT

SEASON’S GREETINGS

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Here is an selected overview of the past year; flashbacks, films, latest news, things that stood out, predictions and annual restaurant recommendations in Forbes Magazine, brought to you right now from an island within a peninsula on the outskirts of one of the oldest monarchies in the world, Denmark.

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What a year it has been… From mezcal in the back kitchens of Oaxaca to pristine vodka in the steaming banjas of Moscow; from sake with samurai chefs in the outskirts of Kyoto to high times in bustling Bogotá.

All in all, 28 countries were covered in the service of those we represent, creating beautiful culinary moments across the globe. In many ways 2017 ended up being another game changer and with 2018 looking just as interesting.

DINING IMPOSSIBLE

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Dining Impossible was hosted in destinations from Latin America to Europe. The world’s wildest dinner party took another big chunk of the globe and will continue to do so.

That being said, then we’re aware of the usual follow-up by other players in the slipstream of our ideas and creations; what seemed impossible to do 5-6 years ago, increasingly more see the opportunity to do so in a – let’s say – less sparkling way than the original gangster.

We’re happy to inspire – the world is more than big enough. But do to the recent years’ dilution then Dining Impossible will in 2018 become even more exclusive than ever before – and also be a financially greater challenge to be a part of.

Instead of meeting the year to come with the desire to conquer the globe with 6-8 grand three-day dinner parties on a string across the world, then 2018 will be more about handcrafting 3-4 out-of-this-world experiences for the selected few.

Conceived in 2009, originally as a countermove against the financial crisis, Dining Impossible (est. 2012) and its predecessor The Dinner Party, have taken socialising to a whole new level. With 24 and 38 editions respectively, this dining venture continues to prosper all over the culinary world.

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Our first planned gastro-bender will be to even further shining up an epic all-time favourite dazzling classic; DI in Barcelona, to a Dining Impossible Extraordinaire; a 4-day all-in eating extravaganza in Spain’s second city and self-confident capital of Catalonia, by featuring ABaC (***), El Celler de Can Roca (***), Disfrutar (**), Tickets (*) and Lasarte (***).

12 Michelin stars and more than 100 world class servings in 4 days added fun receptions, cocktails and dreams, dancing on tables, tipsy limousines and after parties; the full ambassador treatment. 

May 23-26th 2018, late Spring, the perfect time to be in Barcelona. 12 notabilities only with 4 seats left. The world’s best dinner party just got even better.

See also: I Dined with an Armsdealer at The World’s Wildest Dinner Party.


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THE KAMILLA SEIDLER EXPEDITION

Back in 2016 we (in The New York Times) helped highlight a new trend amongst chefs. This trend has been simmering for some years, but culminated last year with the pioneering Diego Muñoz Exploration, where we collaborated with the Peruvian chef and made the world his restaurant through limited time-based projects with the highest possible culinary value in a melting pot of cuisines and cultures.

This opened up a global range of opportunities for chefs of certain calibers – something we further developed into this past year’s even more epic 2017 Kamilla Seidler Expedition, where Latin America’s Best Female Chef 2016 cooked the world like it has never been seen before.

With only 1% mise en place in her chef’s suitcase “The Dane of the Andes” blended her adopted home country’s flavours with local products of a world filled with vastly different cultures and cuisines. Her mission was – and still is – to spread the word of how Bolivia fight challenges through deliciousness, while discovering new colours and collaborations for future growth and expeditions.

So far 26 different projects in 22 destinations and 19 countries on 4 continents since April 1st 2017, with more culinary adventures to come by this culinary conqueror. The blonde Danish female and once very unlikely champion of Bolivian cuisine ended up taking first Latin America, then the world by storm.

Above: Cooking with Elena Arzak and Alain Weissgerber at world premiere of “Michelin Stars” in San Sebastián. Below: With Diego Guerrero, Joan Roca and others in Cappadocia during Gastromasa.

…stay tuned for more flashbacks, future adventures and other updates from

The Kamilla Seidler Expedition

Through a monumental 2017 World Expedition through South,- Central and North America, Europe, Russia, Asia and the Middle East and with only 1% mise en place in her suitcase “The Dane of theAndes” blends her adopted home country’s flavours with local products of a world filled with different cultures and cuisines. Her mission is to spread the word of how Bolivia fight challenges through deliciousness, while discovering new colours and collaborations for future growth and expeditions.

– A World Expedition curated by Bon Vivant Communications

THE MICHELIN FILM

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In 2017 we also presented our long-awaited film “Michelin Stars – Tales from the kitchen”, that was featured as the prestigious opening film of the Culinary Zinema: Film and Gastronomy Section of the 65th edition of the San Sebastián International Film Festival.

The production is a grand documentary, filmed over a two-year period and follows the lives, views and everyday of a long and diverse range of star chefs, global diners, food writers and Michelin management across the world. From New York City to Copenhagen, from San Sebastián to Tokyo.

At a moment in time, when humanity is obsessed with food – photographing every dish, worshipping cooks and flaunting trophy meals on social media, the documentary goes under the surface and offers an in-depth, honest and relevant view into the world and every day of Michelin chefs and restaurants.

Telling tales from a grand menu of culinary temples as well as digging into the greatness and flaws of Guide Michelin in this golden age of gastronomy.

Above: The film’s head production team at the premiere with friends and family. Below: The tantalising trailer for “Michelin Stars”.

Press play.

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With grand chefs such as Alain Ducasse, Daniel Humm, René Redzepi, Andoni Aduriz, Yoshimi Narisawa, Victor Arquinzoniz, Guy Savoy and many more, the head production team of three Danes; Director Rasmus Dinesen, Producer Jesper Jarl Becker and Culinary Producer Kristian Brask Thomsen sat the gastronomy bar at the highest level possible.

This while also managing to illustrate a dark flipside of the shiny coin in creating utter culinary excellence; in search of a realistic understanding of life behind the often airbrushed scenes of what is arguably the most dynamic and creative industry in the world.

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CHEFS MAINLY FEATURED

(in order of appearance)

Guy Savoy, Guy Savoy ***, Paris

Alain Ducasse, Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée ***, Paris

Andoni Luis Aduriz, Mugaritz **, Gipuzkoa

Victor Arguinzoniz, Asador Extebarri *, Atxondo

René Redzepi, Noma **, Copenhagen

Rasmus Kofoed, Geranium ***, Copenhagen

Esben Holmboe Bang, Maaemo ***, Oslo

Mark Ladner, Del Posto *, New York City

Alain Weissgerber, Taubenkobel (**), Schützen am Gebirge

Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park ***, New York City

Fredrik Berselius, Aska **, New York City

Benoit Violier, l’Hotel de Ville ***, Crissier

Frank Giovannini, l’Hotel de Ville ***, Crissier

Kevin Fehling, The Table ***, Hamburg

Yoshihiro Narisawa, Narisawa **, Tokyo

Namae Shinobu, L’Effervescence **, Tokyo

Yoshimi Tanigawa, Kichisen ***, Kyoto

Wassim Halal, Frederikshøj *, Aarhus

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The grand documentary has so far been screened at San Sebastián International Film Festival, Napa Valley Film Festival and Istanbul International Film Festival, and is in 2018 scheduled for screenings at various film festivals across continents added it will have both its cinema and TV-premiere in various parts of the world throughout the year to come.

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THE MIRACLE IN SAN SEBASTIÁN

Bon Vivant Communications is now and then still mistaken for being “just a PR company”. This conventional perception is fair as PR is something we master as well as breaking new ground within the culinary world, but PR is only a fraction of what the culinary embassy does.

The biggest difference you’ll find between us and PR companies is that we’re not overwhelmingly focused on getting new clients all the time and generating launch PR. That’s the easy part. In fact most of our growth comes through existing clients’ recommendations because we recognise operators’ needs to continually drive sales, not just raise awareness around new venues.

In short, we are happy to leave the shotgun press releases and quick Instagram-likes to others; we only enter long-term and strategic partnerships, with the goal of creating a substantial and often global impact.

This is also why we in Spring 2017 entered San Sebastián as a task force and all-in assisting with the opening of a trusted chef’s new restaurant in the world-famous, luscious and heavily Michelin-accoladed Basque part of Spain.

Besides assisting with this opening in the most successful way possible, our mission was to explore, integrate and fully understand the DNA of Donostia in order to help our highly ambitious chef partner earn his seat at the coveted high table of grand chefs and restaurateurs in one of the most recognised culinary destinations of the world.

The opening of Amelia in April 2017 was also viewed upon with equal wonder and surprise as no expat had opened a restaurant of this calibre before in San Sebastián; the for decades globally praised food destination and one of the most Michelin-accoladed areas in the world per capita, already filled with world-celebrated restaurants that draw one headliner after another.

But Argentinean-born Paulo Airaudo managed to do so with an impressive dedication, and within just two months he transformed an old timber wood shop into a two-storey full throttle restaurant in the heart of Zona Romantica. A restaurant designed with gray tones and natural materials such as wood stand out and is characterised by its minimalist, almost Nordic approach and flavoured with comics art, Mario Bros figures, Star Wars paintings and gadgets that refer to Pop Art culture and the early 90’s when Paulo Airaudo grew up.

Paulo Airaudo on his way to the stage, accoladed with Amelia’s first star at the Spanish & Portuguese Michelin Awards at The Ritz-Carlton in Tenerife, November 2017.

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An behold…. Just 7 months after opening its doors, this very different offer to the demanding palates of Donostia and visitors was accoladed with a coveted first Michelin star, and with Paulo Airaudo as the first expat chef ever having done so in the Basque Country.

That, combined with the remarkably fast pace in which the star was gained, has already this early cemented Amelia as the obvious dark horse amongst the best restaurants in San Sebastián and the one looking ahead when it comes to creations, restaurant design and organic wine menus.

When opening Amelia, Chef Airaudo stated:

“My family loves San Sebastián. I love San Sebastián. We’re happy here which is the main reason to build this restaurant. At the same time this magical town has the eye of chefs and foodies globally upon it, which in a way makes it possible for me to offer my food to the world.”

Read also: Amelia in San Sebastián Awarded with a Michelin star.

THE MAGIC MEXICAN IN MADRID

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2017 was also the year were our long lasting flirt with Mexican cuisine flourished into a full-throttle collaboration with a dazzling diamond of Aztec culture; Punto MX in Madrid.

In 2012 the restaurant opened its doors betting on authentic Mexican cuisine, showing Spanish diners completely unknown products and elaborations. A tiny but committed team of Mexican lion hearts and fiery souls armed with a vision, exotic flavours and a tight bank account took a chance at becoming the – then – quite risky culinary fine dining exponent of Mexican culture and tradition.

In 2014 it became the first Mexican restaurant in Europe to receive a Michelin star and in May Punto MX reached its fifth year, its 712000th taco, 260000th avocado and 200000th cocktail, and invited four great and very different Mexican chefs to cook in the heart of Spain as a part of a four-month grand 5th year celebration.

The first invitee was the legendary Juana Amaya; the highest representative of traditional cuisine in Oaxaca and considered being the “Priestess of Mole”, the complex sauce that brings together up to as many as 40 ingredients. The second Edgar Nuñez – Chef and Co-Owner of unstoppable Sud777, placed #11 on Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants List and an outstanding communicator of Mexican products and cuisine.

The third invitee was Diego Hernández Baquedano of Corazón de Tierra that has been recognized multiple times as one of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants and after 6 years is today’s reference in terms of what can be done when you work closely with on-site gardens, terroir and regional ingredients. The fourth was José Manuel Baños – Chef and Owner of the outmost charming and famous Pitiona situated in a restored colonial house in the historic district of Oaxaca, known for it’s great flavours and indigenous cultures.

The core tricfecta of Punto MX; Roberto Ruiz, Maria Fernandez and Martin Eccius.

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Through these grand events Roberto Ruiz also used the 5th year anniversary as an allround occasion to even further refine his celebrated cuisine and further developed the beloved cellar in the swanky Salamanca-quarter into a highly elaborated tasting menu only restaurant, taking advantage of Punto MX´s position and expertise as being the trendsetters of Mexican cuisine, but with a more fun and playful approach, without compromising their DNA.

In the words of Roberto Ruiz: “Change is a natural evolution. Over the last five years, we have transferred the purest taste of Mexico into our cooking, today in this natural evolution.”

This once local restaurant down the corner became one of the hottest dinner tickets in all of Spain. Punto MX is magic – Mexican magic in Madrid and there are numerous of reasons to love this fun-loving, heartwarming and utterly delicious powerhouse solidifying Mexican fine dining. An absolute must when visiting the Spanish capital.

View also: Ten Good Reasons to Love Punto MX.

THE BELLE ÉPOQUE IN VIENNA

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Taubenkobel did it again and created yet another pop-up experience of another world; this time in one of the most beautiful building in Vienna; the Post Palais where the power couple of Burgenland brought the dazzling Belle Époque back to life in the Austrian capital.

After 200 years of being home to postmarks, stamps and packages, the grand rooms of the Alte Post building located at Postgasse in Vienna’s first district was transformed into the 5-week long “Brieftaubenkobel”; a culinary adventure full of variety and bold authenticity where guests were amazed by Alain Weissgerber’s international cuisine, which at Brieftaubenkobel featured only the finest ingredients from across Europe, while being in arms of the great expert service provided by the sparkling hostess Barbara Eselböck and her experienced Taubenkobel team.

It was unforgettable nights in the dazzling chambers of the Post Palais; whisked away to a world full of old-time Viennese flair, with servers in white livery and white gloves moving gracefully through the handsomely appointed staterooms transported all back to a bygone age.

Things like “Brieftaubenkobel” couldn’t be remade even they tried, but luckely Taubenkobel itself can. Our favourite European hidden oasis opens its dining rooms, unique suites and dazzling gardens again from Easter and the 2018-season.

Dig into this video review:  A Hidden Gem for Destination Diners.


THE SECRET MOVE IN COPENHAGEN

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Without another further notice nor Instagram-serialised long stretch promises on a new restaurant then Michelin-awarded “Danish Restaurant of The Year 2016/17” CLOU moved location literally overnight. From the 5-year resided dining rooms of Borgergade in Inner Copenhagen to a rather intimate setting close to the National Gallery of Art and the lakes of the famous capital.

Jonathan Berntsen believes he has found the perfect spot to continue and further enhance CLOU’s culinary journey at the bourgeois-bohemian part of Østerbro Quarter, a javelin throw from the beloved Lakes of Copenhagen; the new restaurant quite has the feeling of a private apartment where Chef Berntsen and team hosts guests with an even more personal signature experience than up to now.

In fact many things has changed, most significantly the menu where CLOU now has gone all-in with a formidable 20 servings set menu paired with cult wines par excellence for 20 guests only per night in taking the allround CLOU-experience up to the next level.

CLOU is a very personal restaurant that desires to make its guests feel at home. To this, the personal touch is important. From own art on the walls, to grand parents’ silverware on the beautiful set tables. The food and wine combinations have been key at restaurant since the beginning. In fact that is what’s most important at CLOU. Highly unusually the starting point is the wine, and then chefs match the food.

Even more unusual; in Copenhagen – the cradle of Nordic Cuisine – CLOU is a local top restaurant with cooking inspired by Southern European Cuisine. Needless to say that it’s is a must try for guests with ‘another zest’ when in Copenhagen.

Read also Ateriet: Jonathan Berntsen on Moving a Restaurant Overnight.

FORBES: THE COOLEST PLACES TO EAT IN 2018

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Last – from all of us to all of you – next year’s restaurant recommendations.

The food world has more than enough best-of lists, and then some. This isn’t one of them. It’s furthermore not a definitive statement on whether any place is better than any other. It’s not a reflection of which restaurants have the most hype, meaning there isn’t a Eleven Madison or El Celler de Can Roca in sight.

Maybe some of these recommendations will someday reach the echelons of the high profile lists. Maybe they won’t. But they are very worthy of our attention – especially those of us who are looking for memorable and unique eating experiences when travelling.

Again this year and alongside global best-selling food writer and Roads & Kingdom-publisher Matt Goulding, and restaurant critic, gourmet aficionado and the only second man in the world to have dined at all 3*Michelin restaurants Andy Hayler, we recommend 10 cool and very diverse restaurants across the globe, under the international radar for now but definitely worth a visit. These are the places we would send our friends to in 2018.

Please find all the recommendations in Forbes by following this link.

We wish you a Happy New Year. Eat and drink well and we’ll see you somewhere across the globe in 2018 where we’ll present new surprising partnerships, films and culinary moments you might not have thought possible.

We are at your service as needed.

Bon Vivant Communications is a culinary embassy representing star chefs and restaurants, chateaux and high-end wineries as well as working close together with various luxury hotels, gourmets festivals and bespoke concierges services.

The diplomacy speaks to a strong network of 600 journalists, bloggers and writers, as well as 3000+ luxury diners around the globe.

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