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CULINARY COUP   .   .   .

Viennese restaurants: new chefs, new concepts

The former Dom Beisl behind St. Stephen's Cathedral was taken over by a new tenant at the end of 2015. The new leaseholder, star Israeli chef, Eyal Shani is now busy establishing his Jewish-Mediterranean street food concept in Vienna at his latest restaurant, Miznon Vienna. The various dishes, mainly filled pita and braised vegetable specialties, can be ordered at the counter and eaten inside. One of its signature creations is a barbecued full head of cauliflower.

In December, Austrian fusion cuisine aficionado Wini Brugger (formerly of Indochine 21 fame) opened a small Heuriger wine tavern style restaurant serving Asian cuisine in a 400-year-old bakery in the eighth district. The highlights at Winisan include Japanese Yakitori chicken skewers with homemade sauces alongside salads and hotpots. Opening hours are Tuesday-Saturday, evenings only (5pm-midnight).

Austrian chef Wolfgang Zankl struck upon an unusual concept which has helped to breathe new life into a small restaurant in the ninth district since December 2015. At Pramerl & the Wolf the menus are tailored to the individual diners, and there are always plenty of surprises in store as part of this casual fine dining experience. The basic premise is internationally-inspired cuisine that uses regional ingredients sourced from small-scale producers – as well as a European wine list with a strong focus on Austrian varieties and natural wines.

German star chef Juan Amador is finally realizing his long-held plans for a restaurant in Vienna. After a previous project in the second district was cancelled, he has now taken over the kitchens at Winzerei in the 19th district. This former Heuriger wine tavern established by top Viennese grower Fritz Wieninger will be reborn in March 2016 as Amadors Wirtshaus und Greisslerei: the restaurant will feature high-quality cuisine, while the deli will be stocked with local products and homemade goodies such as sauces and chutneys.





The London based award winning Japanese restaurant ZUMA will open at Palazzo Fendi, Rome. The launch in early March 2016 will mark the iconic restaurant’s tenth location in its international collection and the first in Italy.

Zuma was created and co-founded by acclaimed chef Rainer Becker, following many years spent in Tokyo immersed in the purity of the Japanese food culture. Zuma takes its inspiration from the informal and popular Japanese izakaya’s, where guests enjoy a relaxed dining and drinking style that uniquely embraces every element of Japanese cooking under one roof. Zuma takes this ideology and, with gracious service, in an elegant and contemporary environment, offers modern Japanese dining that is authentic, but not traditional.

The menu at Zuma combines a variety of dishes from its three kitchens: the main kitchen, the sushi counter and the robata grill. The Japanese robata grill is at the very heart of the restaurant where guests can watch the flames and action as the chefs prepare their dishes in open view. Rome, as always, takes centre stage and the robata has been positioned deliberately to enjoy the views of the bustling streets below linking the city with the soul of the restaurant. In 2002 when the first Zuma opened in London, Rainer Becker introduced robatayaki cooking to Europe. The first restaurant of its kind, Zuma used the precision of the Japanese charcoal grill, which utilises varying heights to cook with exacting accuracy. Guests can observe the precision and theater of robatayaki cooking as chefs prepare signature dishes such as grilled rib eye steak with wafu sauce and jumbo tiger prawn with yuzu pepper. The menu at Zuma will also feature dishes including suzuki no sashimi – seabass sashimi with yuzu and salmon roe and tori no tebasaki – sake glazed chicken wings, sea salt and lime. Embracing the unique dining experience, guests will be offered dishes that are brought to the table steadily and continuously throughout the meal, differing from the typical starter then main course menu structure. An exciting and innovative range of drinks perfectly complements the cuisine.

Zuma at Palazzo Fendi is designed by Noriyoshi Muramatsu of Tokyo-based Studio Glitt, who has worked alongside Rainer Becker realising his vision of Zuma since its first opening in 2002. The space will capture the style and elegance of Zuma worldwide, yet will embrace elements exclusive to Rome.  Whilst respecting the cultural heritage and ancestry of the Palazzo Fendi building, Muramatsu will incorporate the four elements of Earth, Fire, Water and Air, drawing on the artistic beauty of nature. The extraordinary space, located in the historical heart of Rome, will cover two floors with a roof terrace overlooking the ‘eternal’ city.

Immediately upon arrival at Zuma, the design elements will begin to unfold. Inspired by the city itself, Rome was the greatest influence for the design. Zuma at Palazzo Fendi has a unique perspective of the city and this ancient backdrop and roof top views formed the inspiration for the play of light and materials used. The reception desk, hand carved from a solid block of wood is contrasted by a backdrop of angled Kawara tiles from the rooftops of Tokyo. Here, guest are welcomed and taken through a curved walkway to the restaurant; the walls, on one side, are covered with hundreds of individually designed, handmade, Tohiki ceramic bricks and on the other by hanging bamboo. This textural contrast and celebration of natural elements continues throughout the restaurant and roof terrace.

Unique to Rome, the restaurant will feature a private table within the wine cellar seating up to 8 guests. In a country that produces some of the world’s greatest wines and steeped in a history of viniculture, guests can dine surrounded by glass ceiling-to-floor walls celebrating Italy’s finest vintages and boutique wines. The restaurant will be bathed in natural daylight highlighting the textures of the carved granite and handmade floor to ceiling bamboo lanterns.

On the fifth floor the lounge and bar are surrounded by a roof terrace with unparalleled views of Rome from the unique perspective of the historical heart of the city. The bar will serve Zuma style sunset aperitivo with the resident DJ bringing the vibrancy and energy of Zuma to this timeless and romantic location, well into the small hours.

Accessed by an independent entrance in Via della Fontanella Borghese, Zuma will be open for lunch Tuesday – Sunday from 12:00 midday to 14:30 and will be open for dinner Tuesday to Sunday from 19:30 to 23:00.




 The James Beard Foundation and the Presidio Trust of San Francisco announced today that it will reveal the 2016 James Beard Foundation Award nominees at a live press conference in San Francisco, California, on Tuesday, March 15, 2016, at the Presidio Officers’ Club. Nominees in more than 50 categories in the Foundation’s awards programs – Restaurant and Chef, Restaurant Design, Book, Broadcast, and Journalism – will be announced. The event will take place at 9:00 A.M. PST / 12:00 P.M. EST.

 “San Francisco is home to over 40 James Beard Award–winning chefs and restaurants. We’re delighted to be taking our 2016 JBF Award nominations on the road to one of America’s great food cities,” said Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation.

 “The Presidio Trust is honored to host the announcement of finalists for these prestigious awards, in partnership with the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, San Francisco Travel, and the City of San Francisco,” said Paula Collins, Presidio Trust board chair. “We look forward to welcoming the James Beard Foundation and its honored guests to the Presidio Officers’ Club—San Francisco’s most historic building—to announce the nominees and enjoy the cuisine of two-time James Beard award–winning chef, Traci Des Jardins.” 

 On Monday, March 14, a Friends of James Beard Benefit dinner will be hosted by chef David Barzelay at San Francisco's Lazy Bear restaurant. Lazy Bear, which opened in 2014, has emerged as one of San Francisco's top restaurants, earning a place on Bon Appétit magazine’s “50 Best New Restaurants” list, one Michelin star, and three and a half stars from San Francisco Chronicle critic Michael Bauer. A limited number of tickets to this dining event, which will feature a unique, private tasting menu and wine pairings, will go on sale on the Lazy Bear website in mid-February.

 Semifinalists for the Foundation’s Restaurant and Chef Awards are selected from thousands of online entries, a process that’s overseen by a committee of industry professionals.  After the first round of voting by judges, committee members, and previous winners, the semifinalists, which will be announced on Wednesday, February 17, are then narrowed down to a final list of nominees, which will be announced in San Francisco on Tuesday, March 15, along with nominees in the Restaurant Design, Book, Broadcast, and Journalism Awards. The nominees will also be announced live via the Foundation’s Twitter feed at twitter.com/beardfoundation.

 On Tuesday, April 26, 2016, the James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner, an exclusive event honoring the nation’s top cookbook authors, culinary broadcast producers and hosts, and food journalists, will take place at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City. 

 The James Beard Awards Gala will take place at Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday, May 2, 2016. During the event, which is open to the public, awards for the Restaurant and Chef and Restaurant Design categories will be handed out, along with special achievement awards including Humanitarian of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America, and America’s Classics. A gala reception will immediately follow, featuring top chefs and beverage professionals from across the country.

Established in 1990, the James Beard Awards recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields and further the Foundation’s mission to celebrate, nurture, and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. Each award category has an individual committee made up of industry professionals who volunteer their time to oversee the policies, procedures, and selection of judges for their respective Awards program. All JBF Award winners receive a certificate and a medallion engraved with the James Beard Awards insignia. There are no cash prizes.

The 2016 James Beard Awards nomination announcement and press conference is presented in partnership with local partners: The Presidio Trust, Fedele Bauccio & Bon Appétit Management Company, Traci Des Jardins, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, San Francisco Travel, Magnum PR, and the City of San Francisco.

The 2016 James Beard Awards are presented in association with HMSHost, Lexus, and Mariano's; and the following partners: Premier Sponsors: All-Clad Metalcrafters, American Airlines, Lenox Tableware and Gifts, True Refrigeration®; Supporting Sponsors: Acqua Panna® Natural Spring Water, Breville, Goose Island Beer Company, Lavazza, S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water, Skuna Bay Salmon, Valrhona; Gala Reception Sponsors: Braveheart Black Angus Beef® from PERFORMANCE Foodservice, Ecolab, Groupon, Royal Caribbean International, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts; with additional support from: Chefwear, VerTerra Dinnerware, and Wisconsin Cheese. The James Beard Foundation also gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Chicago Department of Aviation, Choose Chicago, and the Illinois Restaurant Association.

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