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Europe’s culinary culture
– united in diversity.



Christian Bau

“A master of gastronomic culture and a culinary ambassador, his contribution to a positive image of Germany is outstanding”. These words accompanied the presentation of the Federal Cross of Merit by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to Christian Bau in October 2018. As primus inter pares amongst the ranks of leading German chefs, the national and international resonance of his work is beyond dispute: top rating in every relevant guide for over a decade, including three Michelin stars since 2005.

Dr. Werner Hoyer

As Minister of State at the Foreign Ministry between 1994 and 1998 and 2009 and 2011 and Deputy Chairman and Foreign Affairs Spokesman of the FDP Group in the Bundestag, he followed firmly in the tradition of his mentor Walter Scheel by intensely addressing the issues of European policy and German-French cooperation. A convinced European, Werner Hoyer is pursuing his commitment to maintaining Europe’s strong place in the world in his current role as President of the European Investment Bank. He was President of the European Liberal Democratic Party between 2000 and 2005. Since 2012, he has also been President of the Institute for European Politics, which has been supporting research in the fields of European politics and integration since its founding in 1959.

Melanie Wagner

comes from a family of restaurateurs in Upper Franconia. Upon graduating from high school she trained as a wine grower, since when she has spent over 15 years establishing a brilliant reputation as the Head Sommelier of the “Schwarzer Adler”, the richly traditional restaurant in Oberbergen in the Kaiserstuhl, whose legendary wine list has been acclaimed in Germany and abroad for decades. Melanie Wagner has been extensively honoured for her work, including being named by Gault&Millau as Sommelier of the Year (2010) and receiving the Eckart Witzigmann Prize (2015) and the Prix d’Honneur at the Prix le Montrachet (2016).

Dr. Christoph Wirtz

The journalist and Chairman of the Circle of Supporters of the Walter Scheel Medaille e.V. has been addressing the cultural significance of culinary matters for over 20 years in his articles and columns in publications including Stern, Die Welt/Welt am Sonntag and the magazine Der Feinschmecker. Given his academic background as a historian and political scientist (Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg), the European dimension of the Walter Scheel Medal is one of his key concerns. Christoph Wirtz was editor-in-chief of the restaurant guide “Gault&Millau” from 2020 to 2023.