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.

Christian Bau receives the Federal Cross of Merit

Christian Bau was the first German chef to be awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his services to top cuisine. The homage from the hands of German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is at once a great honor, but for the three-star chef also cause for criticism of the perception of the culinary arts in Germany.

To date, only two other top chefs have received awards before Bau: Harald Wohlfahrt for his services to promoting tourism in Baden-Württemberg and Heinz Winkler for his work as an employer. And now for the first time Christian Bau for the core of his work: the art of cooking.

In a well-received interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung , Christian Bau takes issue with how his industry is perceived by politicians. Hundreds of writers, musicians, painters and actors have received awards – but no top chefs?

Politics despises us. We are the “gourmet temples” for these people, the decadents with the lobster, the caviar, the truffles. Politicians avoid that like the devil avoids holy water. Guests come to me from Tokyo, from New York, from Paris. Do you know who is not coming? The Prime Minister of Saarland. Or his predecessor. Or their predecessors.

In his typical and modest manner, Christian Bau accepts this honor on behalf of his colleagues in Germany’s top gastronomy. For all the chefs of the country who are struggling with the same problem. From the great concern about the next generation to the image problems of the stenegastronomy to the whole bureaucracy in Germany. It resonates with a lot of anger at the disregard for an entire industry. But is it that amazing? Christian Bau was named Chef of the Year by Gault&Millau this year. For the Saarland, Victor’s Fine Dining is the culinary flagship with its highest awards. But is the political community even aware of this? In any case, there were exactly no reactions. “When the Michelin restaurant guide is published in France, there is an act of state at the Élysée Palace, and the president gives a speech.” Unfortunately, we are still miles away from that. Christian Bau is not thinking about government support or subsidies. “But it would be a start if people would stop making life difficult for us. We’re drowning in bureaucracy.”

A few days ago I met with Christian Bau and of course already congratulated him on the announced award and recorded some further important statements from him:

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