Bistronomic restaurants are seldom to be found in Germany – besides the meanwhile established and Michelin-starred Weinsinn and the Schaumahl in Offenbach along with some newer concepts in Berlin the German gastronomic ladder is missing some intermediate steps that could facilitate the climb-up, especially for younger and less experienced but interested diners.
Since September 2009 Munich has a new culinary hotspot: Innegrit Volkhardt, owner of the prestigious Hotel Bayerischer Hof immensely invested in the redesign of the former Garden restaurant and established a new Fine Dining restaurant called Atelier” and appointed Steffen Mezger, previously the chef the cuisine at the Garden restaurant, to lead both restaurants. Very quickly, this new venue won its first accolades with the first star in November 2010 and 17 points in the Gault Millau. Moreover, many foodie friends and some Facebook pictures told me that the cuisine is modern and interesting – so a visit was obviously mandatory☺
So, time to return to my blogs primary objective – to write about my culinary adventures in Germany and some of its best chefs… The interested reader might have noticed that I have put in a new page Fine Dining in Germany to give you some background and perspective with respect to recent developments here.
In the last couple of months we have experienced chefs moving like in dominoes. First, it was announced that Christian Jürgens would open a Gourmet restaurant in the Seehotel Überfahrt recently bought by Althoff. Thomas Kellermann became his successor at Burg Wernberg, Henrik Otto Kellermann’s successor at Vitrium Berlin and finally Hans Horberth formerly at Villa Merton in Frankfurt replaced Otto in the “La Vision” in Cologne…
The Althoff Hotel Collection is a phenomenon as they own and operate an unique selection of hotels mostly in Germany in which restaurants play an important if not the critical role. The primary examples are Grandhotel Schloß Bensberg with its restaurant Vendôme and Schloßhotel Lerbach hosting the restaurant Dieter Müller both in Bergisch Gladbach near Cologne and both holding three Michelin stars. Joachim Wissler (Vendôme) and Dieter Müller had signed to Althoff after they had already earned some merit and then had the opportunity to fully develop their potential as Althoff offered the necessary financial backing (mainly by cross-subsidizing from the hotels). So, is there a better chance for a young aspiring chef like Christian Jürgens than an offer from this “stable” to open a new gourmet restaurant in a breath-taking location?