France has a rich culinary tradition – shining names like Carême, Escoffier and the protagonists of Nouvelle Cuisine (most importantly Michel Guérards und Fernand Point) have left most important marks on Haute Cuisine all around the world. Michelin and Gault-Millau are the guidebooks for any foodie… And, there are places of culinary pilgrimage with a long tradition, most notably L’Auberge de l’Ill (the third star sind 1967), Maison Troisgros (three stars since 1968) and Maison Pic (where three consecutive generations were awarded three stars). Truly impressive, given that outside of France Winkler held three stars for highest number of years…
After all the recent praises you might wonder whether I would ever again report about bad meals (remember King Kamehameha and Can Fabes!). Contrary to professional restaurant testers I can choose the restaurants I visit and most of the time I choose wisely, especially in the last months So don’t be disappointed that another highlight will follow now… (Actually I had two quite dissatisfactory meals whereas I will not report on the first as it is not worth the effort and maybe needs some double-checking on the second).
In the last months a lot of foodies approached me to get insights about how Germany’s new three star chef Sven Elverfeld is doing at Aqua. Although I had been to Wolfsburg in November last year for the International Food & Wine Festival (a very good diner of Passard by the way) I had not eaten the creations of Sven Elverfeld since November 07 when the third star was clearly in sight. Time for an update…
After a couple of meals last year at Christian Bau’s Schloss Berg I followed Trine’s example of taking a break to see how the cuisine develops over some time. But, sooner that I thought the idea came up to show very good friends of mine real three star cooking and somehow Schloss Berg appeared as the perfect venue (honi soit qui mal y pense…)
The interior of the restaurant has been completely refurbished in January while they were closed and now really fits to the more contemporary and modern cuisine of Christian Bau. I particularly liked the new chairs which had been exclusively made for the restaurant. You can exit without having to move the chair by just turning the upper part… Very comfortable…
The Haeberlin family and their restaurant Auberge de L’Ill is a culinary monument carrying three stars since 1967. Generations of chefs have been trained by Paul Haeberlin who died last year in May at the age of 84. A big chapeau for his lifework!
Our experience? Well, it was Spring and we had the pleasure to have our champagne outside on the terrace with an amazing view on the Ill. It looks like they have created this postcard romantic especially for the restaurant. Across the river there was a small boat and some fisherman and we really wondered how much they get paid for being so authentic.
Shortly after my visit to the Vendôme I had the possibility to get an update of how Juan Amador’s cuisine has developed since my last visit in May. And, I must say that all but two dishes in the main menu were new to me. After the meal I am still stunned how much progress he has made in refining and elaborating his distinct style. So, another prime example of the significant and positive developments in Germany.
Before I go on and turn to eating adventures in Germany there is one more reference I want to share. During our B/NL trip we this year finally managed to eat at Hof van Cleve (HvC) in Kruishoutem near Gent in Belgium.
Another visit at Oud Sluis – even with the danger to bore you a little with my love for Oud Sluis, our menu this year was mind-blowing again and needs to be shared. The overall level was more consistent along the different courses. There are not many restaurants in the world were you encounter outstanding and perfect dishes that often.
To start with a double feature is quite some task. But I can’t write about my very recent visit at Oud Sluis without also giving some details about my first visit almost exactly one year ago (yes, you will find me in Knokke every year around July;-))