Excellence Magazine interviews Ernesto Iaccarino President of the Jeunes Restaurateurs d’Europe to find out what the prestigious association hopes to achieve.
First and foremost, we’d like to know more about the fabulous Dining With The Stars event hosted in partnership with Diamonds Resorts.
Dining With The Stars is perhaps the most important European event we are involved with. This year we sent 50 JREs from across Europe to Diamonds Resorts in the Maldives and Zanzibar for 4 months. The diners in the resort really love tasting dishes designed by talented chefs in some truly unique destinations. It is an homage to beauty, beauty considered holistically. From our perspective, JREs bring in new customers to our restaurants. It’s an excellent opportunity for visibility.
When was your association founded and what is its mission?
JRE was founded in France in 1974. Initially our mission was to promote and push the best young French chefs, but in 1994 JRE expanded into a European association, an opportunity to get the best young chefs in Europe visibility.
So how are our chefs selected?
Today we are present in 14 European countries and each country elects the new members each year.
What are the benefits for somebody choosing a restaurant that is part of the JRE group?
If you go to a JRE restaurant, you are sure to find a superior level of cuisine and service. A few years ago we wrote a manifesto, expressing our values. Top of the list is produce. We only use the finest ingredients in our kitchens. In second place is the respect and protection for the gastronomic traditions of every area of Europe. Third is the idea that cookery is in a constant state of evolution: we want to drive this evolution.
And what are the benefits for restaurants associated with the organisation?
If you are a young chef when you join JRE, you get great visibility, you take part in international events where you meet journalists, customers and European colleagues. You are part of a system that puts you in contact with young people of your age who also love cooking, who share your passion for fine dining and for beauty. All this comes together to push you to grow much faster.
How important is food when you travel?
Very. When you travel, you set out to discover another country’s culture, architecture, lifestyle. Food is definitely a very important part of travel because it enables you get up close and really understand the traditions of the country you’re in.
Does JRE have any projects in the pipeline?
While staying true to its values, JRE wants to become a global association. We are currently working to make this happen.