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Heinz Beck and Coppo in Tokyo for a “Special collaboration” dinner

The Michelin starred chef of La Pergola has crafted a menu paired with Coppo wines for a wine dinner that brings Italian excellence to the heart of Japan.

A messenger of Italian food in the world, chef Heinz Beck who was bewitched by Italy and became an international standard bearer for its cuisine. Class of 1963, born in Friedrichshafen near Lake Constance in Germany, Beck originally wanted to become a painter, as he often tells people. But his destiny had another creative endeavor in mind—the art of gastronomy.

After hospitality school and a long stint abroad, in 1994 Beck landed in Italy for the first time. He was called upon to relaunch the restaurant “La Pergola” of the Rome Cavalieri Hotel in Rome. It was a challenge he thoroughly and successfully met in just a few years, earning three Michelin stars; and his experience made him fall head over heels in love with Italy. It transformed him into one of the most famous chefs of Italian cuisine in the world.

Other than La Pergola, Beck collaborates with and manages a series of successful restaurants, some of them within Italy: Cafè Les Paillotes of Pescara, Heinz Beck Seasons at Ristorante Castello in Fighine (both starred); and others in the world: Gusto by Heinz Beck in Algarve (Portugal), Taste of Italy by Heinz Beck and Social Heinz Beck in Dubai, and, since the end of 2014, the double-feature of Heinz Beck and Sensi by Heinz Beck in Tokyo.

Cafè Les Paillotes of Pescara, l’Heinz Beck Seasons at Ristorante Castello di Fighine (entrambi stellati). And others in the world: Gusto by Heinz Beck in Algarve (Portogallo), Taste of Italy by Heinz Beck e Social Heinz Beck a Dubai since the end of 2014, the double-feature Heinz Beck and Sensi by Heinz Beck in Tokyo.

In Heinz Beck in Tokyo on Monday, May 30, the chef of La Pergola will be presenting an exclusive dinner in collaboration with Coppo.

The experience will be a wine dinner made for celebrating the long friendship between Beck and the historical winery of Canelli.

Heinz Beck

Mr. Beck, how did you become friends with the Coppo family? 

Our friendship goes back a long way. I knew the Coppo family in 1997, when I was creating a new wine menu for La Pergola, and after tasting their wines, I immediately decided to add them to the list. And from that moment on, Coppo became our point of reference; I’ve visited them several times in Canelli and their Underground Cathedrals.

Why did you decide to present a menu completely paired with Coppo wines?

I like to use my restaurants for organizing different activities, such as themed dinners or moments dedicated to wine. Our goal is to promote and spread Italian taste throughout the world, and Coppo wines represent Italian excellence; they were the first producers I thought of for this “Special Collaboration”.

How did you choose the wines and the dishes to pair them with?

The Coppo family suggested I use wines that are exported to Japan. I paired each one with a dish that exalts its characteristics. I use Italian ingredients and methods of preparation, but also some from Japan, like Wagyu meat, a very prestigious breed of Japanese cattle.

Water Garden by Heinz Beck

Water Garden by Heinz Beck – Photo: Janez Puksic


Do the Japanese know Italian wines very well?

The wine culture in Japan, although recent, has developed quickly and suddenly. Today it’s incredible how well the Japanese recognize and appreciate Italian wines. They even know rare and unique wines made from native varieties.

What Italian dishes are the most intriguing to a culture that is as complex and developed as Japan’s?

Everything begins with the need to communicate. All the dishes and ingredients must be Italian and recognizable, easily identified. They use pasta, cheeses, balsamic vinegar, cured meats. But the most important thing is that they recognize a certain Italian style in the preparation, the aromas and the full flavor of the Belpaese. And in this, the choice of wine is very important.

Heinz Beck Tokyo_res

Heinz Beck – Tokyo


You’re also a sommelier; what do you look for in a wine?

Other than high quality, that it transmits emotion. Because as they say, your emotions don’t lie.