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Germany - Schloss Berg - Christian Bau***

IFS2008 Sep 4, 2008 04:16 AM

Last week I had the best meal of my life at Schloss Berg where Christian Bau has made significant progress in modernizing his cuisine. It was amazing!

Some excerpts from my blog report (http://highendfood.wordpress.com):

"Looking back, I always had great dinners at Schloss Berg but my recent experience clearly exceeded my high expectations by far. All in all, previously it was a classic french cuisine ingeniously delivered, beautifully assembled with an emphasis on creating a unique broad flavourful picture. In January this year we still had some variations (of langoustine, foie) which had been delicious but sometimes too complex and overloaded. What a difference now...




What can I say? I have to admit I really like Christian Bau's intelligent way of cooking and I see him on track to the absolute top among European chefs. Compared to my recent experiences at Oud Sluis and Hof van Cleve (which I both praised) Bau is on par - the whole experience is closer to Goossens in style but equally fun and enjoyable as Sergio Herman's cuisine. More importantly whereas Herman and Goossens have only gradually developed their cuisine further in the last two years I experienced big leaps at Schloss Berg, especially from January to August this year.

Christian Bau is on the quest, surely, and he gradually modernizes his cuisine by getting rid of unnecessary elements (as Klaus Erfort, as Christian Jürgens) and reducing his plates to maximum taste. I particularly like the idea of having some typical dishes like the crab, the turbot & langoustine, the sole which he tries to vary improve continuously. His most important strength is an ingenious touch for pairing of flavours in a more conventional way than Juan Amador in a good sense. Together with his strong foie dishes and the patisserie it simply makes him a great chef!

Moreover, I sense that there is still some potential unlocked and dare say that if this is unleashed then only the sky is the limit;-)

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  1. girobike RE: IFS2008 Sep 6, 2008 02:23 AM

    Good to know. The list of really good restaurants in Germany is not long. We liked your critical review on your blog and live part of the time in Munich.

    7 Replies
    1. re: girobike
      IFS2008 RE: girobike Sep 7, 2008 12:57 PM

      Sorry to contradict, dear girobike - there is a lot to discover: Bau, Wissler, Amador, Erfort, Elverfeld are all perfect, unique in their very distinct own way and imho among the best European chefs. Wohlfahrt, Thieltges and Lumpp present classic cuisine at highest quality, more traditional but surely not to be missed!! More reviews to come - maybe they will be help the foodie community to fully appreciate the New German Cuisine...

      1. re: IFS2008
        girobike RE: IFS2008 Sep 8, 2008 12:49 PM

        Thanks for the tips - I will alert my in-laws, who we always travel together with to go food hunting - they've been doing the German food rounds for decades.

        I kind of got tired reading Vinum and Feinschmecker because they rarely say anything negative and we've had more dissappointments than successes. Its good that I came across your blog.

        Don't know if you tried Landgasthof Adler yet close to Schaebisch Hall. Its one of my personal gems in the middle of nowhere.

        1. re: girobike
          IFS2008 RE: girobike Sep 9, 2008 02:43 AM

          Dear girobike,

          of course I tried Josef Baur's fabulous cuisine (10+ times as my second home is near by) but have recently found that there's no real development going on... High standard, but the surprise menu is boring and repetitive. One of the few restaurants I do eat ALC...

          1. re: IFS2008
            girobike RE: IFS2008 Sep 9, 2008 10:52 AM

            Shame about that. When we're in Europe, we're in Munich, so Frankfurt is kind of the northermost limit for driving travel, which makes Adler a not-to-far driving distance for food.

            We make exceptions to travel to Berlin and Hamburg for food, but we have restrictions on travel means when the in-laws are with us.

            We also like Ali Güngörmüs' potential (Le Canard in Hamburg). He has a lot of talent for a young fellow and I hope his restaurant progresses.

            Do me a favor and PM me your contact details - I've input ours on your blog.

            1. re: girobike
              IFS2008 RE: girobike Sep 11, 2008 01:09 PM

              Try Amador - you won't regret it. Will send you me contacts...

              I have experienced Ali when he was at Lerbach in Munich, but I reckon that he has developed...

        2. re: IFS2008
          girobike RE: IFS2008 Sep 8, 2008 12:58 PM

          PS: Keep up the good work!

          1. re: girobike
            IFS2008 RE: girobike Sep 9, 2008 02:45 AM

            Will try - thanks. Alwayss good to know;-)

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