It’s that time of the year again when all restaurants in the World are being rated anew. In Germany, the two most important guides, Michelin and Gault Millau just published their new books, awarding many new stars and points to chefs all over the country.
Now there have been many blog posts about it, but as far as I can tell, there was none in English. So I thought it might be useful to wrap-up the essence of it for the international crowd.
Germany’s happiest chef right now ought to be Thomas Bühner of restaurant La vie in Osnabrück . His restaurant finally was awarded its third Michelin star, and also represents the only new 3-star-restaurant in the country. Check out these terrific pictures of recent meals at La Vie on Very Good Food and Cookcooning.
Sadly, Nils Henkel of Gourmetrestaurant Lerbach lost his third star and hence the total number of 3 star restaurants in Germany remains unchanged with 9.
Also, 3-star-chef Juan Amador who moved out his restaurant in Langen to take over the reigns at his second restaurant in Mannheim was instantly re-awarded 3 stars. One has to remember that stars are awarded to the restaurant as a whole and not to the chef, so this wasn’t a sure thing. Check out a meal at the new Amador over here.
Then there have been quite a number of new 2 star-restaurants, 10 in total, and with 2 of those in Berlin, Lorenz Adlon and Reinstoff, the city now features the highest star-count within the country (16). Check out these pics of a recent meal at Reinstoff – blog-author Julien Walther rather sees the restaurant at 1 star level though.
Further, Berlin’s “enfant terrible” Tim Raue has only been awarded one star with “hope for a second star”. But with the recent meals I saw, like this one, there’s no way he won’t get his second star next year.
Other new 2-star-restaurants in Germany are Schwingshackl Esskultur in Bernried, Kastell in Wernberg-Köblitz as well as Rosin in Dorsten and La Vision in Cologne. In Northern Germany there are four new 2-star restaurants: Haerlin and Jacobs Restaurant, both in Hamburg, as well as Buddenbrooks in Lübeck and La Mer in List on the tiny island Sylt.
In total there are now 249 Michelin-starred restaurants in Germany, as many as ever. Of course, the usual discussions about the true value of those new-awarded stars are now coming up, but in the end this is just the continuation of a trend towards more quality in German restaurants that has started many years ago.
The Gault-Millau guide, as usual, rated culinary Germany with a slightly different perspective, somehow putting the focus on a few restaurants that have been treated hesitantly by Michelin.
The most blatant example is the case of the Berlin-ratings: the aforementioned Tim Raue, only “hope for second star” with Michelin receives 19 points at Gault Millau and is therefore crowned best chef of the German capital for this guide. He is closely followed by restaurants Fischers Fritz and Margaux with 18 points. The new Berlin 2-Michelin-stars restaurants Reinstoff and Lorenz Adlon have to content themselves with “only” 17 points. Contrast between the two guides couldn’t be more clear.
But the most important figure within the Gault-Millau-guide of course is the “Chef of the year“. This time the award goes to Andree Köthe of restaurant Essigbrätlein in Nürnberg, rewarding a cuisine which puts vegetables and spices at the center, rather leaving to fish and meat the roles of well-tasting accompaniments. Some also decribe his restaurant as maybe the only one in Germany that stands for a reflection on German ingredients and true local cooking, pherhaps reminding the philosophy of Noma’s Nordic Cuisine. Have a look at High End Food‘s meal there, which was in June 2010.
But still, this title doesn’t make Andree Köthe the highest rated Gault-Millau-chef in Germany. In fact, he receives 18 points and there still are 12 chefs in Germany with a better rating in this guide.
The highest rating of 19,5 points has been awarded to 5 chefs in total, including the 4 holders of last year retaining their rating: Harald Wolfahrt, Joachim Wissler, Helmut Thieltges and Klaus Erfort (my meal there, 2 years ago). Those are now joined by Sven Elverfeld and his restaurant Aqua within the Ritz-Carlton in Wolfsburg. A foreseeable and well-deserved development! (Only judging from the many beautiful meals I’ve seen from others – check out this one). And for those chefs at least, Michelin and Gault-Millau seem to be on par.
Concerning my hometown Frankfurt, even though there rather was a loss of gastronomic glow (with no more Michelin-3-star restaurant around), I was quite happy to read that Kimberly Unser of Seven Swans has been awarded “Newcomer of the year” as well as 15 points by GM. I’m quite eager to discover her apparently very inventive cuisine and her tiny restaurant next to the river Main.
Then, a bit outside the city, in the rather industrial town Rüsselsheim, Thomas Macyszyn and his team have been awarded their first Michelin-star for their restaurant Navette within the Columbia hotel.
What I’ve been missing maybe is a reward for the bistronomics-kind-of-cuisine. I would have hoped for at least 15 Gault-Millau points for Weinsinn, but maybe it’s better this place remains a secret tipp (see here).