The rum council
By invitation only
From the beginning, the goal was to set a new standard for rum. To be sure they achieved it, the founders of 4X50 established the Rum Council:
Fifty of the world’s top chefs, sommeliers, mixologists and experts.
All with impeccable palates.
All volunteering their honest feedback and support, the kind only true friends can provide.
“Chef of the Century” Eckart Witzigmann, the first German-speaking 3-Michelin-Star chef, is honorary head of the Rum Council. When the full roster of members is revealed, 4X50 will be the world’s first rum backed by 100 Michelin stars. To keep the Council fresh and relevant, members serve four-year terms, then become honorary members for life.
The first German-speaking 3-Michelin-star chef, Eckart Witzigmann is one of only four individuals in the world—and the only non-French national—to receive the grandest acknowledgement in gastronomy, the ‘Chef of the Century’ award by Gault & Millau.
The rum council
Winner of the awards ‘Best Sommelier in Austria’, ‘Best Sommelier in America’, and finally ‘Best Sommelier in the World’, Aldo Sohm is currently based in New York, where he runs the Aldo Sohm Wine Bar.
At age 33, Andreas became the youngest three-Michelin-star chef in Europe, receiving 19 GaultMillau points that same year. In 2002, the Swiss native converted the Schloss Schauenstein into a boutique hotel and restaurant that was crowned 'Best Restaurant in Switzerland' by Restaurant Ranking for eight consecutive years. Schloss Schauenstein was ranked 50th by the World’s Best 50 Restaurants in 2019.
Sommelière Bärbel Ring manages Söl’ring Hof, a 2-Michelin-star restaurant built on the rolling dunes of Sylt, overlooking the North Sea. She is the winner of numerous awards, including 2015 ‘Sommelière of the year’ from the international Rolling Pin magazine.
Birgit & Heinz Reitbauer
Birgit and Heinz are the current duo behind Steirereck, the Vienna-based restaurant that was ranked 17th by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2019. In the kitchen, Heinz combines culinary theatre with precision and reverence for local ingredients, while Birgit—named ‘Best Restauranteur’ by Les Grandes Tables Du Monde in 2019—manages the restaurant with passion and excellence.
Awarded 2011’s ‘Best Cook of the Year’ by Acqua Panna, Cornelia discovered her passion for Italian cooking while working under chef Anna Sgroi. She opened her eponymous restaurant in Hamburg in 2000, receiving her first Michelin star two years later.
Dieter relocated from his native Austria to the Algarve more than 25 years ago. Today he is one of the leading chefs in Portugal, and has turned Vila Joya—a five-star boutique hotel—into a culinary hotspot. His self-described “John Wayne Style" cooking philosophy favors new ingredients (and 6-course menus) every day.
Hans’ ‘Keep it simple’ mantra belies the technical precision of his menu. The Austrian-born chef devises fresh, modern and exacting dishes that draw primarily from the surrounding Algarve heartland. Since 2007 he has worked at Portugal’s Ocean restaurant, which has received two Michelin stars under his direction.
Jacob Jan Boerma
Currently co-owner of the Restaurant de Leest in Amsterdam, one of only two restaurants in the Netherlands to boast three Michelin stars, Jan acquired knowledge of local ingredients while in Scandinavia, discovered new flavors in Asia, and sharpened his gourmet expertise during his European travels.
Born in Austria, Josef Forstmayr moved in 1979 to Jamaica, where he has managed the Round Hill Hotel and Villas for over 20 years. Under his direction, Round Hill has won numerous awards and accolades, including World Travel Awards' World’s Leading Villa Resort for 11 consecutive years.
Known for his love of experimentation, Austria’s first 3-Michelin-star chef has worked with chemists and physicists from the Bremerhaven Technology Transfer Center to push cuisine’s boundaries.
One of Germany’s finest chefs, Klaus Erfort has earned 3 Michelin stars and an armful of other awards. His Gästehaus Klaus Erfort, located in Saarbrücken, is noted for its impeccable quality and perfect preparation.
One of New York’s most celebrated restauranteurs, Kurt named his first restaurant, the Michelin-starred Wallsé, after the small Austrian village where he was born and raised. With his ever-growing roster of award-wining restaurants, cafes and wine bars, it’s fair to say Kurt has put himself, his ‘neue’ Austrian cuisine, and even his own hometown on the international culinary map.
After working at a spate of extraordinary restaurants, including Eckart Witzigmann’s in Berlin and Steirereck in Vienna, Markus co-founded Bâtard in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood. Here, his years of expertise found expression in a modern French menu that reflects his Austrian heritage and extensive international experience.
Germany’s first female sommelière in luxury dining, Paula was named ‘Sommelière of the Year’ by Gault & Millau in 1988. The wine expert and author was head sommelière at Tantris, the two-Michelin-star restaurant in Munich, for 20 years before founding her own wine consultancy in the same city in 2011.
Roland worked as a lifeguard, DJ and ice hockey player before becoming a chef. Having studied under Eckart Witzigmann, Germany’s ‘chef of the century’, Roland went on to receive his first Michelin star at just 27-years old. He was the Executive Chef of Ikarus, Red Bull’s two-Michelin-star restaurant, from 2003-2013, before co-founding Stay Spiced!, a gourmet spice company.
One of the most acclaimed chefs in Berlin, Tim began his culinary career at 17-years old. The native Berliner moved quickly through the city’s culinary landscape, becoming chef de cuisine at Rosenbaum, Kaiserstuben and E.T.A. Hoffman in quick succession. Today, he serves up a fusion of flavors inspired by Japan, Thailand and China at his eponymous restaurant, which was ranked 40th by the World’s Best 50 Restaurants in 2019.
Véronique is a cookbook author and founder of the delicatessen company Véronique Witzigmann Buffet. The daughter of Eckart Witzigmann, Germany's first three-Michelin-star chef one of Gault & Millau’s four ‘chefs of the century’, Véronique lives with her family in Munich, where she continues to expand her selection of marmalades, chutneys and desserts.