Last week we were invited to a very special occasion at The Keeper’s House at the Royal Academy of Arts: the first four UK chefs were inducted into JRE – Jeunes Restaurateurs – the association dedicated to nurturing the talents of young chefs and culinary entrepreneurs across the globe.
Founded in 1974 and now representing 350 individual restaurants and 160 hotels in 16 European countries and Australia and boasting over 180 Michelin stars between its members, JRE has finally hopped over The Channel to set up a UK and Ireland chapter. The restaurant association provides help and support for new talent in the culinary sector; chefs and restaurateurs need to be under 42 years old to join and JRE asks its members to share their knowledge and expertise to improve and innovate the gastronomic industry whilst preserving different regional and cultural identities as well as culinary inheritance and traditions.
There were four inductees to the JRE UK branch: Taylor Bonnyman from The Five Fields in London (who was not able to make it on the night), Barny Taylor from The Drysart, Petersham, Mark Dixon from The Kings Arm, Flegg and Alfred Prasad, the first Indian chef ever to be awarded a Michelin star and the latter three all contributed canapés for us to taste whilst chatting and meeting people in the bar.
Barny Taylor created Soy and Honey marinated Orkney Scallop with Crispy Sushi Rice and Truffle Mayonnaise, Mark Dixon Smoked Norfolk Eel with Baby Beet, Horseradish, Mustard Cress and Apple and Alfred Prasad a Tandoori Chicken Mousse with a Rice Poppadum and Lemon Caviar. We were also served a canapé of Döllerer Speck, Popcorn & Kraut from Andreas Döllerer from Döllerer’s Geniesserrestaurant in Austria.
At the reception we were served Pommery Brut Royal champagne, Nespresso Café and S.Pellegrino & Aqua Panna, who all sponsor the JRE along with Mastercard and Pastificio dei Campi pasta.
Hans van Manen, the Executive Director of JRE, kicked the official evening off by welcoming the guests and after the ceremonial signing of the chefs’ JRE certificates we heard from Ernesto Iaccarino from Don Alfonso 1890 near Naples in Italy, who is the current International President of JRE, and who spoke passionately about the association, his chosen profession and food in general by reminding us of the goals of JRE.
- Joining Innovation and Imagination
- Respecting Source and Sustainability
- Evoking Emotion and Inspiration
Following short speeches by Nicola Grant from MasterCard UK, JRE’s International Vice President Alexander Dressler (from Friedrich Wilhelm in Potsdam) and Matthias Tesi Baur, the new JRE UK Director, Andreas Döllerer, Gault Millau Chef of the Year 2010, from Döllerer’s Geniesserrestaurant near Salzburg in Austria, talked about his brand new cookery book ‘Alpine Cooking’, which we were very happy to find a signed copy of in our goodie bag when we went home.