Kochfreunde.com is the culinary magazine of Oliver Wagner. Here, everything revolves around the almost most beautiful thing in the world: good food. The focus ranges from reports on exciting restaurants to recipes from his own kitchen, cookbooks and culinary gadgets.


Kochfreunde.com ist das kulinarisches Magazin von Oliver Wagner. Hier dreht sich alles rund um die beinahe schönste Sache der Welt: Gutes Essen. Dabei reicht der Fokus von Berichten über spannende Restaurants bis hin zu Rezepten aus der eigenen Küche, Kochbücher und kulinarische Gadgets.

CookTank No.10

Ten chefs, as many stars and a large portion of creativity and curiosity once again formed the foundation of a cooktank of star eaters. The tenth edition of the culinary think tank took place this time in Munich, on the premises of the Dallmayr restaurant.

The concept is as simple as it is brilliant: the ten invited chefs present new ideas and creations. Dishes that have not previously been on the menu of the respective house in this form, but which reveal its signature and style. And to keep the endeavor from becoming too simple, there is an overarching theme that should be common to all dishes. In this case it read: city, country, river.

Tohru Nakamura showed directly how different the interpretations of this theme can be. The 31-j?hrige chef of the Geisels Werneckhof distinguished with two Michelin stars was selected few days ago only by the Feinschmecker for the cook of the year. To open, he and colleague Dominik Schmid first sent a pastrami of New Zealand venison leg with elderberry, hazelnut and hemp seeds. The first official course was knitted around mackerel, myoga, nutmeg squash, clam viangrette and myrtle. A sensational plate that shows the precise and balanced play with flavors and acidity that Nakamura understands like few others. In addition, the myrtle, a product rather unknown to most participants (including the author of these lines), brought an exciting aroma, distantly reminiscent of almond or marzipan. A great start.

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Nine more plates of the other protagonists followed. Most interpreted the overall theme in a more classical way, i.e. not focused on the well-known guessing game and served as alliteration, but on the provinence of the products from city, country and river.

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Michael Simon Reis served a “Bavarian snack plate,” in keeping with his Upper Bavarian heritage from Johanns in Waldkirchen. What distinguishes his cuisine is both the focus on local products and the traditions of his region. The echoes of the school of Nordic Cusine he interprets freely, centered around products and modern kitchen techniques. As a special highlight of the already great plate, Reiss combined a juice of beetroot fermented with lactic bacteria as sweet components.

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Local hero Jan Hartwig from Munich Atelier sent a pike perch on ceviche broth, almond cream and Bavarian cabbage under a cap of pickled Iberico Press into the round. A perfectly cooked fish, which of course harmonizes wonderfully with the Iberico, complemented by a slight spiciness and freshness of the Peruvian brew.

The fascinating thing about this event format is seeing how chefs can engage in dialogue with each other, give feedback on their colleagues’ dishes, and thus think outside the box together, recharge their creative batteries, and take away new ideas and inspiration. And for us as an interested professional audience, it is at least as exciting to see so many different culinary concepts and listen to great chefs in such a short time.

Bobby Bräuer, from Munich Dining Room, showed an exciting interpretation of rabbit, eel and nutmeg squash from his own new urban garden.

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Also from Hamburg was Marcel Görke from Stüffel. In keeping with his northern German roots, he brought along a Hamburg eel soup. Naturally reinterpreted with ham broth, a salty steamed noodle, field vegetables and herbs.

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The chef of the house, Diethard Urbansky, presented cheeks and tails of piglet, smoked eel, malt beer and bean. A strong course with a nice contrast of textures and a subtle, very restrained, rather accentuating inclusion of the eel.

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Nenad Milnrevic from Focus in Vitznau, Switzerland (2 stars) surprised all participants with a very unusual creation: the duck from the lan, on the river and in the city were served separately in three preparations. As an egg, as a cooked breast and as a Hot Duck.

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Another wild card winner, Christian Sturm-Wilms from Bonn (Yunico, at the Kameha Grand) sent in an interpretation of Berlin-style liver, country bread, parsnip, apple, yodo, crayfish and eel. A rather sumptuous course, characterized by the flavors of Japanese cuisine, to which Sturm-Wilms and his team have dedicated themselves.

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One of my personal highlights followed in the form of Milchkalb hoch 3. Philipp Rümmele from the Adler in Asperg combined three components (sweetbreads, kidneys and sweetbreads as a spiked créme) with crayfish, elderberry vinegar and peas. A fine plate – and amazingly round for a new dish as well as perfectly executed in terms of craftsmanship.

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The last course of the day was served by Anton Schmaus from the Storstad in Regensburg (1 Michelin star): Sturgeon, mustard curry, mango and sauerkraut. Certainly one of the most powerful courses of the day and sensibly placed at the end of the culinary defile.

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It was a great setup. Young chefs and experienced star chefs acted hand in hand and engaged in a lively exchange about their dishes, products and kitchen techniques. It is rare to gain such a variety of impressions in the course of a day. To deepen the content, Thomas Vilgis gave a lecture on the subject of smoking. The professor heads a research group on analytical soft matter theory at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, and leads a “Soft Matter Food Physics” group that studies physical aspects of food, including ingredients and preparation. This profound detailed knowledge was extensively applied to the physical and chemical processes involved in smoking. Very exciting.

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Many thanks to the Sternefresser for the perfect organization, the meticulous preparation and the once again sympathetic organization of this day. The Cooktank is and remains a very special culinary event, which is so unparalleled…

Baking, steaming, cooking

Baking, steaming, cooking



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