The Grimaldi Forum was recently transformed into the epicentre of world gastronomy for the Chefs World Summit. As this year’s location for the event, this conference is open solely to industry professionals. The event this year focussed on three key words: “exchange, friendship, and communication” according to Philippe Joannès, the Chief Executive of the Fairmont Monte-Carlo and Programme Director of the Chefs World Summit. Starting Sunday, the participants, including the Mentonnais chef of the Mirazur Mauro Colagreco, were here “to taste new products and exchange ideas with other chefs.” This was especially true for the younger attendees, as the goal for many was also to “share ideas and pass on experience,” adds Catherine Decuyper, the President of Informa France, the organisers of the conference.
A series of meetings covered the issues currently facing the culinary world: online reputations, relocating abroad, the concepts of tomorrow. These are the subjects which have been on the minds of those in a profession which is currently undergoing a profound transformation.
Customer queries, for example, now include questions of food allergies, special diets, and environmental responsibility. Another topic tackled at the conference is social networks. “We were shut away in our kitchens,” admits Philippe Joannès. Nowadays, things move quickly and everyone is connected. One must be prepared. Before, we waited for guides to be published. But today, every client is their own guide.” Pictures and commentary abound on the internet and “you must accept that you will be judged.” This judgment, inseparable from the world of cooking, is now “accentuated”, reveals Philippe Joannès. Thus, in this context, exchange is “essential. Things change. One must carry on.”
At the Grimaldi Forum, everything unfolded in quite a friendly atmosphere. “Everyone believes we are rivals,” explains Philippe Joannès, but we still share the same concerns and the same gastronomic pleasures.”
After the meetings, the discussions continued, including outside of the conference. On one of the evenings, twenty tables of ten guests each were to be found scattered among the establishments of the Principality for an event based on the following idea: that the chefs would cook and speak with their guests, and donations would be made to the charity AMADE Monaco. This is one way to spread the message that Philippe Joannès wished above all to transmit: “let’s stop questioning ourselves. Let’s talk together in order to find solutions.”
It’s a message with a positive impact for Monaco, as the participants mark the close of yet another successful and delectable Chefs World Summit.