Two Northern German Cities Each Add a Pair of Two-Star Restaurants to their Impressive List of Star-Studded Eateries
Northern Germany's top chefs in Berlin and Hamburg continue to rack up Michelin stars, firmly establishing the two cities at the top of the country's gourmet food chain. Their young, inventive and creative chefs have solidified the trend toward a modernized, German cuisine with local recipes and strong regional influences.
Both Berlin and Hamburg ascended to new culinary heights with two new two-star restaurants in each city, bringing the number of Michelin star adorned eateries to 13 in the German capital and to nine in Hamburg, with a total of 27 stars.
Here's the list of newly star rated restaurants:
In Berlin, Hendrik Otto, who has been at the helm of the Hotel Adlon's restaurant Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer only since April 2010, was awarded his second Michelin star. Food critics have been taking notice of this major talent since Otto, now in his mid-thirties, won his first Michelin star ten years ago in Cologne. Under the motto "exciting, expressive, European-inspired", he combines diverse influences and the finest European traditions, creating interpretations of classic haute cuisine.
The second new addition to Berlin's two-star restaurant firmament is Reinstoff at the historical factory ambiance of the Edison-Höfe, where shooting star Daniel Achilles is working his magic. Reinstoff opened in March 2009 and won its first Michelin star the following year. Achilles' meteoric rise into the cooking stratosphere has the German capital buzzing; his specialty is local, organic produce and his talent has now been reaffirmed with a second star.
With the two new additions, Berlin now boasts three two-star restaurants.
Another new recognition this year: Sebastian Frank, chef at Horvath in Berlin's Kreuzberg district, was awarded his first-ever gourmet star. Overall, Berlin offers 13 Michelin star restaurants (three with two stars each and ten more featuring one star)—more than any other German city.
In addition to the star-rated eateries, Berlin offers many other worthy culinary discoveries. One of those places is Volt, located in a former power station in the trendy Kreuzberg district. Matthias Gleiß is one of the new chefs to watch; his approach to cooking has been labeled New Berlin Cuisine and features lots of fresh and locally grown ingredients.
A 90-minute train ride to the west, maritime Hamburg is flying high as well with nine Michelin star restaurants, including two brand new two-star gourmet temples.
For the 2012 German edition of the Michelin Guide, 38-year-old chef Christoph Rüffer of Haerlin was awarded his second star. Tucked away inside Hamburg's fashionable Fairmont Hotel Vierjahreszeiten, Haerlin offers perfect views of Hamburg's inner-city Alster Lake, and a haute cuisine based on classical French cooking with Mediterranean components. Rüffer values taste above everything else. Amongst his specialties are foie gras and wild salmon from Scotland.
Thomas Martin, who is in his mid-forties and waves his magic cooking wand at Jacobs, also won a second Michelin star. Martin is a proponent of the new wave in gourmet cuisine—contemporary, light and fresh with lots of locally produced legumes, sea food and meats. Located in Hamburg's posh Nienstedten district, the Jacobs culinary experience is augmented by stucco ceilings, murals, heavy chandeliers and grandiose views of the Elbe River.
Both Rüffer and Martin belong to a noteworthy group of talented chefs working in Germany today. Food critics maintain that this is the golden age of young and ambitious chefs with impeccable technique, who have developed their own signature dishes without sacrificing the visual harmony or the taste of their creations.
But it doesn't necessarily take Michelin stars to enjoy a fantastic meal in Hamburg. From international cuisine to local menus of fresh sea food, the city's restaurant scene is as diverse as its population. Some of the best places to eat in Hamburg can be found in the area between the exhibition centre, the meat market and the Schanzenviertel district, where celebrity and TV chef Tim Mälzer does the honors at Bullerei. Menu choices run from duck's breast and plaice to the restaurant's signature dish, bull feed. But it's not just about the food—the Bullerei is housed in what used to be the historical cattle halls of the old Hamburg slaughterhouse.
(This reprinted press release is from the Berlin office of tourism in Los Angeles.)