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East and West dialogue in the Zwilling flagship store in Shanghai

Product sales coexist with the interior design by Matteo Thun and Antonio Rodriguez and “The Twins” restaurant

The interaction in Shanghai between a German entrepreneur, two designers – one from Italy, one from Spain – and a German cook with a passion for Mediterranean flavours has given rise to the new “ZWILLING J.A. Henckels” flagship store, for the company founded in Solingen (Germany) in 1731 and still a leader in the production of the finest steel products for the kitchen and the table. Located in the district of Jing’an, one of the city’s most important shopping districts, it opened inside the “Taikoo Hui Mall”, and incorporates the restaurant “The Twins”, with its bar and school of gourmet cuisine, and the single-brand Zwilling store. The interior design project was developed by Matteo Thun and Antonio Rodriguez, both of whom have a long history of working with the German company to make products dedicated to the kitchen. Directing the school, and working at the stove is Cornelia Poletto, the award-winning chef who created her reign in Hamburg with her own restaurant from 2000 to 2010 (where she won her first Michelin star), with a special deli, featuring a restaurant and cooking school, active since 2011 (and included in the Michelin Guide). For years, Cornelia has also been working with Zwilling.

The success of this new experience was based on the idea to associate the sale of its prestigious products with the finest architecture and food, both of which have the potential to attract a new clientele to an exclusive location and a menu which, by the way, is closely reminiscent of Italian flavours, of which the Chinese are very fond.

Being able to purchase, cook and taste good food allows our customers to “travel” through the world of gourmet food.

Erich Schiffers, CEO of the company

The Zwilling store is on the ground floor, in a bright space with a clean and essential design, where the wood of the display cabinets creates a warm and cozy environment. A stair leads to the upper floor, the food domain and the possibility to learn to cook at the “Gourmet School” following the teachings of the German chef. Located on this floor with the school is the restaurant and bar, with an area for informal meals and a more exclusive section. The goal of the designers was to create a dialogue between the western and the eastern traditions, expressed in a contemporary language of pure forms and luxury materials such as leather and velvet, wood and brass. The different areas are highlighted by changes in the floor heights and the different types of seating.

Cornelia Poletto, who trained with the award-winning Italian-German chef Heinz Winkler, and during her early career worked in the Michelin-star restaurant “Anna & Sebastiano” with Anna Sgroi, loves Italian and Mediterranean cooking in general, and used it as her inspiration for the dishes at “The Twins”. The three areas into which the restaurant is divided – “Sea & Cold Food Bar”, “Casual Lunch & Dining”, “Fine Dining” – are distinguished not only by the interior design, but by their different gourmet menus. «The Sea & Cold Food Bar offers many delicacies, including seafood and Spanish jamòn aged five years. In the Casual Lunch & Dining zone, we prepare dishes inspired by Italian cuisine and Mediterranean flavours, in our open-view kitchen», explains the chef. In the Fine Dining area, Cornelia has conceived an exclusive menu consisting in eight dishes. A surprise and revelation. Outside “The Twins” and in addition to cooking, Cornelia writes recipe books, hosts several television shows about food, including “The Taste”, and is active on social issues. She supports the Pediatric Hospital at Altona, a district of Hamburg, cooking with the little patients, and she firmly believes in educating disadvantaged children as a way to help them in their delicate life path. Since 2013, she has been involved in the “UNESCO – Education for Children in Need” programme.


translation by Olga Barmine

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