Lavazza Calendar 2014: the World’s Top Chefs [Gallery]

Italian coffee giant Lavazza has released it new 2014 calender featuring seven of the world’s most famous chefs.

  • November - December: Ferran Adria again, this time with his brother Albert. Photo: Martin Schoeller/LavazzaNovember - December: Ferran Adria again, this time with his brother Albert. Photo: Martin Schoeller/Lavazza
  • September – October: One of the most famous Italian chefs, Carlo Cracco is the man at the helm of Cracco Peck restaurant in Milan. Photo: Martin Schoeller/LavazzaSeptember – October: One of the most famous Italian chefs, Carlo Cracco is the man at the helm of Cracco Peck restaurant in Milan. Photo: Martin Schoeller/Lavazza
  • July - August: Italian chef Antonino Cannavacciuolo from the restaurant at Villa Crespi hotel in Orta San Giulio, Italy. Photo: Martin Schoeller/LavazzaJuly - August: Italian chef Antonino Cannavacciuolo from the restaurant at Villa Crespi hotel in Orta San Giulio, Italy. Photo: Martin Schoeller/Lavazza
  • May - June: Davide Oldani, chef of the Michelin-starred restaurant D'O in Milan. Photo: Martin Schoeller/LavazzaMay - June: Davide Oldani, chef of the Michelin-starred restaurant D'O in Milan. Photo: Martin Schoeller/Lavazza
  • March – April: Michel Bras, who runs Restaurant Bras in Laguiole, France with his son Sebastien. Photo: Martin Schoeller/LavazzaMarch – April: Michel Bras, who runs Restaurant Bras in Laguiole, France with his son Sebastien. Photo: Martin Schoeller/Lavazza
  • January – February: Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana, the 3-Michelin star restaurant in Modena Italy which is regularly listed as one of the world's top restaurants. Photo: Martin Schoeller/LavazzaJanuary – February: Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana, the 3-Michelin star restaurant in Modena Italy which is regularly listed as one of the world's top restaurants. Photo: Martin Schoeller/Lavazza
  • Famed Spanish chef Ferran Adria, who owned the 3-Michelin-star elBulli restaurant in Catalonia, is on the cover of the 2014 Lavazza calendar. Photo: Martin Schoeller/LavazzaFamed Spanish chef Ferran Adria, who owned the 3-Michelin-star elBulli restaurant in Catalonia, is on the cover of the 2014 Lavazza calendar. Photo: Martin Schoeller/Lavazza

The Lavazza Calenders have a long and fascinating history, with the very first published in 1993 and shot by Helmut Newton. Thus began a thrilling journey, based on the special relationship between photography and Lavazza coffee.

The calendar quickly becomes a sought-after and precious collector’s item, a leading player in Lavazza’s international communications, with the top photographers taking turns behind the camera.

The company has recently released its 2014 calendar, “Inspiring Chefs,” which it describes as “an incredible alchemy of photographs and stories with an almost cinematic quality, a seamless natural sequence that speaks of inspiration. And coffee.” A talented photographer captured seven of the world’s most famous chefs thinking up their inspirations.

For its Lavazza Calendar 2014, the Italian coffee giant tapped Martin Schoeller, the NY based photographer best known for his tight portraits or “close up” series.

Martin’s career has evolved from unassuming beginnings. After high school, a friend urged him to apply for photography school in Germany. Of 800 applicants, Martin was one of 40 students accepted and after graduation moved to New York City to pursue his photographic career.

The subject to this year calendar photo-shoot were  Ferran and Albert Adrià, Massimo Bottura, Davide Oldani, Carlo Cracco, Antonino Cannavacciuolo, and Michel Bras. The photographer often places them in set-ups like with a mermaid in a fishmonger’s shop, hunting with chickens, or cooking risotto in a rice field.

In a separate video, the chefs explicitly talk about what inspiration means to them. Says Albert Adrià: “It’s like a light that we have within us. It is switched on from time to time and it allows you to do extraordinary things.”

Ferran Adria who is regarded as one of the world’s most inventive chefs, made a “huge exception” when he agreed to cook for an event Thursday — his first such outing since closing his famed elBulli restaurant two years ago to focus on experimentation.

And what a surprise! The special occasion turned out to the launch of Italian coffee-maker Lavazza’s 2014 calendar, featuring Adria among seven of the world’s top chefs. An image of Adria inside a thought-bubble full of foodstuffs — both exotic and ordinary — graces the cover of Lavazza’s calendar.

“It’s a huge exception,” he told in one of his recent interviews. “It’s a gift for the Lavazza family.”

Adria closed his restaurant at the height of its success to devote time to his elBulli foundation and other projects. He says he has been busier than ever, reports AP.

Currently the Spanish culinary genius is preparing an exhaustive classification of foods, called a “Map of Culinary Process: Decoding the Genome of Cuisine,” that he promises “will be a shock” when he unveils it next year.

He gives an example: “Espresso is not coffee. It is not just a beverage. Espresso is an elaboration of coffee. It is cooking.” Likewise, he said, mayonnaise is not a condiment or a sauce, it is an emulsion “that can be used as a sauce, or a condiment, or as a filling for ravioli.”

“A chef that understands that will cook in a completely different way,” he said through a Spanish interpreter.

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