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.

Chef of the Year: The winners of the first preliminary final

To rapturous applause, the first two winners on the road to the 2018/2019 Chef of the Year were announced last night. And there was also an exciting confession from star chef Christian Lohse…

“Fish fingers with homemade mayonnaise and fries are a real delicacy” explains two-star chef Christian Lohse on stage kur before the announcement of the winners. After all, he used to work for Kaeptn Iglo in Bremerhaven for almost ten years, he reveals. This is how you get to know unexpected details and preferences at events.

Fish was also the topic of the first preliminary final in the Chef of the Year competition. And in fact, even fish sticks should play a supporting role in this. However, they are of a completely different kind than the factory goods that roll off the assembly line in large quantities a few kilometers away. In tight time, the six candidates each sent three courses, around the motto “Fish at its best”. Also at the jury table wereBrian Bojsen, Miguel Contreras, Daniel Dal-Ben, Wolfgang Faßbender, Sebastian Frank, Maria Groß, Yoshizumi Nagaya, Jan Pettke, Martin Pirker, Dirk Rogge and Christian Sturm-Willms.

The jury | Photo: Melanie Bauer

The competition has been a firm institution in the German-speaking world for many years. It is aimed at professional chefs from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and South Tyrol and is being held for the fifth time. For the Bremerhaven pre-final, the 6 candidates were selected from around 120 applications. In October 2019, the six finalists will then compete against each other in the grand finale at Anuga in Cologne. In addition to the prestigious title of Chef of the Year, prize money totaling 10,000 euros and numerous special prizes from the sponsors are up for grabs.

In Bremerhaven, cooking was done with a lot of dedication and creativity. According to the jury, all the candidates were very close to each other – the verdict was accordingly close.

Junior Sous Chef Marvin Böhm from the Aqua*** restaurant in Wolfsburg finally took the win. Right behind was the runner-up, Creative Director Sören Herzig of Dots Establishments in Vienna.

The winners and their assistants | Photo: Melanie Bauer

Marvin Boehm

For Marvin Böhm, it is not the first participation in Chef of the Year. Already a year ago he appeared at the fourth vofinal in Hamburg at the live competition and that at short notice as he moved up for an illness case. Without proper preparation time and instructed assistants, Marvin delivered an excellent performance and just missed making it to the final. This time, on June 18 in Bremerhaven, he definitely wants to win the golden knife and thus the ticket for the grand finale at Anuga on October 7, 2019. The Lower Saxon describes his kitchen style as simple, futuristic and elegant and does not follow any particular philosophy himself. His competition menu is intended to do one thing above all – bring back memories; he reinterprets classic dishes from his mother’s kitchen. But the twenty-nine-year-old also finds his inspiration time and again in art, with its shapes and colors. When asked about his goals and wishes for the future, Marvin doesn’t have to think long: “Definitely three stars!

Appetizer: Bavarian shrimp | cucumber | oyster | Photo: Melanie Bauer
Main course: “Fischstäbchen” – trout from the Lüneburg Heath | spinach | potato | Photo: Melanie Bauer
Dessert: Raspberry | Algae | White chocolate | Miso | Kroepoek | Photo: Melanie Bauer

Sören Herzig

It’s been a long time since Sören Herzig took on the challenge of the live Chef of the Year competition – seven years, to be more precise, during which time a lot has happened. The native of Cuxhaven is the only local hero at the first preliminary final in Bremerhaven, even though he is currently delighting guests with his creations in Vienna. The twenty-eight-year-old finds inspiration in the traditional cuisine of foreign countries; so he is always conjuring up new modern, creative dishes that reflect the “tried and true.” However, he attaches particular importance to working sustainably and economically with all products. For him, his profession is more than just a passion, it is his vocation that he can live out again and again, coupled with creativity and fun.

Appetizer: “A day by the sea” | Photo: Melanie Bauer
Main course: cod | pea | chanterelle | foamed dashi| Photo: Melanie Bauer
Dessert: “Japanese driftwood” | Photo: Melanie Bauer

Apply now for the second pre-final!

The second pre-final will take place on November 19 at Halle02 in Heidelberg. Passionate professional chefs can still apply for this until September 19. All information for applicants and about the upcoming event can be viewed online at www.kochdesjahres.de.

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