Heiko Antoniewicz – Award-winning Chef with amazing inspiration.
Heiko Antoniewicz – Award-winning Chef with amazing inspiration. Read all about it!
You are a very well-known Chef nowadays, with quite a versatile and successful style. Where did this Journey start, and what drove you to become a Chef?
Max Inzinger, who cooked regularly on the show “Drehscheibe”, went outside into a meadow during filming, collected dandelion leaves, and then made a salad in the studio, accompanied by sauteed chicken liver. In that moment, I knew it. That was exactly what I also wanted to do. The love of Nature, and learning all about it have fascinated me very much. So, everything I could do in Gastronomie during my school internships I jumped into.
Was the passion for this career there at the beginning or did it develop over time?
The passion for the job was there from the start. It’s continued to evolve and has become deeper over the years.
How would you describe the direction of your food at the moment?
Since we don’t have our own restaurant right now, this question doesn’t really apply. I dedicate myself more towards research and development.
Your career started early, and to date, youngest “Chef of the Year”, German Lachsmeister, winner of the Noilly Prat Trophy, as an apprentice “Stadtmeister der Köche” in Dortmund and shortly after your restaurant opening… the Michelin Star. Is this a target that you have been aiming for or more of of a “reward of passion”?
The reward is already there. I’ve always loved to face new challenges including competitions. Every competition won is a pleasure, it’s a victory and the confirmation of my work and motivates me to keep on doing exactly what I do. However, most important is the interaction and work with my colleagues. To date, what brings me the most joy and honour are the awards bestowed on me from industry colleagues in 2016 and 2017.
The next big step in your career was your cookbook.
“Fingerfood – Die Krönung der kulinarischen Kunst“, [English “Fingerfood- The culmination of Culinary Art.”] (awarded the “Most Innovative Cookbook in the World” by the World Cookbook Award)
“Fermentation” is the theme that has been innovatively staged.
Amazing and in-depth stuff. How much time goes into creating something like this?
In advance it’s always hard to estimate how much time you need for a book project. We approach the ideas in their own right, and we see constantly evolving and interdependent processes arise. With this type of work, many things develop in parallel, so many years can pass until they are completed.
With your new publication “Green Glamor”, which was released in October 2017, you devote yourself to vegan cuisine. What was your inspiration for this project?
Twice a year I eat vegan and vegetarian. Whenever I went to restaurants I noticed that something was missing. In an emergency or out of necessity, most places will serve a salad or a side dish as a main course. So I wrestled with theme and decided to have vegetables as a main actor on the plate.
“On the side” you have been working as a national and international consultant for innovative culinary concepts and products since 2008: What is your specialization?
Recently, most of the questions we get and the interest is about Sous Vide and Molecular Cuisine but overall I’m taken as a Holistic Chef these days.
You are well known as a speaker and through your workshops and lectures, How do you bring across your main focus points?
Pretty much just like my book projects. It’s relatively easy for me to lecture on these things because I have dealt with them for quite a long time.
Within all this activity, does the day still tempt you to open your own specialty restaurant?
No, my focus and my passion is currently different. I’m already thinking far into the future and am having so much fun with other things. It’s such a great feeling when you can find time to enjoy the things that matter. Someone with a restaurant doesn’t have it like I do.
Regional and seasonal are no longer just trendy, but part of good food. As a Chef, are you also in direct contact with your suppliers?
The way we do things in our kitchen, it’s very important to know where our product comes from. For that reason we are always in regular and close contact with our suppliers. Communication is of the utmost importance.
Which next big trends do you see in the kitchen?
Trends that we have experienced, tried or discussed we categorize as Meta, Mega or Mini Trends. However, there are few kitchen trends that affect our cuisine in the long-run. The next trend is slowly gaining momentum. “<=>” Focusing on the products, strongly influenced by vegetables and local ingredients.
Being a Chef is awesome, but a lot of the young generation aren’t choosing this path. Do you have any ideas on how to make the career more attractive to the younger generation?
Yes. The job description of a chef has changed a lot in the last 30 years. The kitchen has changed. This change must be acknowledged in vocational training and the contents of the training must be revamped and relevant. There should be upper educational courses at Universities for cooks and Chefs. There must be degrees with specialization which will enable better pay. As a Chef you are not only a Chef but also a psychologist, creative artist, businessman, nutritionist and much more.
In which country / kitchen in the world would you like to work and gain experience if you had the chance?
A mix of cultures with different kitchen elements, where you can taste the authenticity of the kitchen I would find fascinating. My absolute favorite country is still Malaysia.
Thank you for these insights, Heiko!