Can you tell us about your journey as a Chef?
The most important person on my journey to becoming a Chef would have to be my grandmother, who had a grocery store in my hometown and would always prepare me fresh food when I was growing up. She was a lady who could make something out of any ingredients that happened to be available. As my parents are academics, when I started cooking at age 15, they were not terribly happy about this decision, although we have since reconciled. Despite these circumstances, I was able to persevere and met many inspiring Chefs along the way. Of them, I would have to say Chef Eckart Witzigmann impressed me most because I believe him to be the living benchmark of the culinary universe.
This year, I celebrate my 25th anniversary as a professional Chef and during this time have learnt that cooking can make people happy – and even more physically powerful, as I discovered in my research on nutrition coaching for professional athletes. To me, cooking is communication and passion at the same time – my language of creativity.
Can you share any fun facts about the onion?
My grandmother used to make us peel onions as a punishment, but it was always fun for me because I enjoyed the smell and I always managed not to cry. Beyond its nutritional value, the onion has a great antiseptic effect. I have found recipes with onions in early cookbooks during my research on monastery cuisine and in historic culinary literature. While on the surface, it seems to be a simple ingredient, it is very versatile. In the restaurant, you may not think about these properities but if you feel a sore throat or flu coming on, you can call upon this ancient remedy. Past, present and future, the applications of the onion in and out of the kitchen are endless.
For whom would you prepare your dream Krug pairing?
My wife, Silia. She is an exceptional sommelier and wine connoisseur who cherishes great food and Champagne. This means the world to me. We have been married for seven years and the fact that she is so into wine makes us have wonderful complementarity. Like my Krug x Onion pairing, we are a great match.
You have been a Krug lover for many years, what stands out in your memory?
What impressed me when I came to the House of Krug was the ambiance. It was all so quiet and relaxed with an understated elegance that fits my own personality well, as this is how I like to welcome my guests. As my restaurant is also in a wine region - Franconia is a prime site for viticulture in Würzburg, Bavaria - I felt a deep connection when I visited the vineyards of Krug.