Germany’s best chefs

Immediately after its opening Kevin Fehling’s restaurant “The Table” was awarded three Michelin stars, and Peter Maria Schnurr is the Gault-Millau chef of 2016.

Over the roofs of Leipzig, epicures are a little closer than elsewhere to the stars. On the 27th floor of a hotel is the two-star restaurant “Falco”. In 2008 it became the first and only restaurant in the new federal states to be awarded a second Michelin star. Peter Maria Schnurr has been head chef here since 2005. In 2016 Gault Millau chose him as Chef of the Year. Schnurr, born in 1969, likes to present himself in track suit trousers under his chef’s jacket, making a “Victory” sign and sporting a broad smile. “I take it in an athletic spirit”, he seems to be saying. His success as a chef? Just a by-product if his immense energy.

Schnurr is considered loud, passionate, unbridled. But the bearing of a forceful chef is only part of the truth. Discipline and the uncompromising focus on quality are as much ingredients in his secret recipe as are impetuosity and imagination. Applying the idea of “cuisine passion légère”, Schnurr, who comes from the Black Forest, composes dishes that go beyond the standard of haut cuisine. French inspired, but cosmopolitan, he combines frog legs with seaweed, Périgord truffles with coconut and oysters with a Kiwi sauce.

From zero to three stars – unique

Kevin Fehling also combines classical recipes with exotic ingredients, experimenting with their texture. There is frozen Japanese horseradish, chips from calf’s tongue, red mullet with coriander paste. Fehling’s seven-course menu contains more than 100 various components. Unlike his colleague Schnurr, the 38-year-old Fehling turned his back after ten years on his employer, the restaurant “La Belle Epoque” in Travemünde. In August 2015 he opened his own restaurant, “The Table”. The name says it all because here in Hamburg’s Harbour City sit at most 20 guests at a single serpentine table. As at a bar, they can watch while the food is prepared.

The leap into self-employment has paid off for the native of Delmenhorst, who learned his culinary arts from the star chefs Harald Wohlfahrt and Wahabi Nouri: in its 2016 edition the Guide Michelin awarded “The Table” three stars. The highest score for a newly established restaurant – that is unique in the 100-year history of the restaurant guide.