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.

Kitchen Impossible enters its eighth season

With Walter and Sascha Stemberg, René Frank, Thomas Bühner, Elif Oskan & Markus Stöckle, Philipp Vogel, Graciela Cucchiara and Edi Frauneder

Starting on February 12, 2023, VOX will go on the air with a new season. And finally, that much can already be revealed, many exciting destinations and original cuisines in exotic countries are again on the menu. For the first time, a full episode takes place in the U.S., and in the “Best Friends Edition,” Tim Mälzer cooks and curses for victory with Tim Raue and Hans Neuner, whose Ocean restaurant we just visited. This season, for the first time in the history of the competition, Mälzer will be competing twice against two people at once: Against the father-son duo Walter and Sascha Stemberg and the pair Elif Oskan and Markus Stöckle. Also on board this time: Thomas Bühner, René Frank, Edi Frauneder, Philipp Vogel and Graciela Cucchiara.

Kitchen Impossible
  • Mälzer, Tim (Author)

All duels and the destinations of the eighth season “Kitchen Impossible”:

12.2. Tim Mälzer vs. The Stembergs
Mälzer: Lahr (Badner Land), San José (Costa Rica)
The Stembergs: Gordes (France), Malmö (Sweden)

19.2. Tim Mälzer vs. René Frank
Maltsters: Maiori (Italy), San Sebastián (Spain)
René Frank: Verviers (Belgium), Porto (Portugal)

26.2. Tim Mälzer vs. Thomas Bühner
Mälzer: Marbella (Spain), Gardone Riviera (Italy)
Thomas Bühner: Zurich (Switzerland), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)

5.3. Tim Mälzer vs. Elif Oskan & Markus Stöckle
Mälzer: London (Great Britain), Unterthingau (Ostallgäu district)
Elif Oskan & Markus Stöckle: Vienna (Austria), Singapore (Singapore)

12.3. Tim Mälzer vs. Philipp Vogel
Mälzer: Nuremberg, Edinburgh (Scotland)
Bird: Stavanger (Norway), Sokobanja (Serbia)

19.3. Tim Mälzer vs. Graciela Cucchiara
Mälzer: Mele (Italy), Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Cucchiara: Barcelona (Spain), Kdyně (Czech Republic)

26.3. USA Edition (Tim Mälzer vs. Edi Frauneder)
Mälzer: Jackson Heights (New York City), Kansas City (Missouri)
Frauneder: Washington (District of Columbia), New Orleans (Louisiana)

02.04. Best Friends Edition (Tim Mälzer vs. Tim Raue vs. Hans Neuner)
Tim Mälzer vs. Hans Neuner: Crete (Greece)
Tim Raue vs. Hans Neuner: Munich
Tim Mälzer vs. Tim Raue: Spangereid (Norway)

Tim Mälzer vs. Walter and Sascha Stemberg

In the first episode of the new season, the father and son team Walter and Sascha Stemberg send Tim Mälzer to the south of Germany to Lahr in the Badner Land.There is the “Queen’s pie” from the star restaurant Adler in Lahr. A traditional house, which has existed for more than 150 years and is already managed by the fourth generation of chef Daniel Fehrenbacher. An absolute heart’s dish as a culinary challenge – for Tim this means once again: Kitchen Impossible! In the second challenge Tim will go to Costa Rica. With original chef Ricky, traditional Caribbean dishes are conjured up and so Tim is given a Costa Rican rondón soup as his task. So it’s not just the tropical climate that becomes a challenge for Tim: it’s the potpourri of flavors he’ll never hit in this fish soup….

A great challenge awaits the Stembergs in Gordes, France: the dish “Poulet en vinagre” is an absolute classic and was invented by Paul Bocuse. A luminary who can still cook this dish according to the old recipe is: Franz Keller. In his vacation home, the task is to meet this complex challenge. Afterwards, Walter and Sascha Stemberg are sent by Tim to Malmö, Sweden. With Titti Qvarnström, Sweden’s first star chef, Tim was able to engage a virtuoso of her trade who makes the Stembergs sweat. Their restaurant is located in a castle near Malmö. Here she cooks regional and seasonal cuisine to perfection. The task: ox heart with salsify & leeks, celery and rhubarb. A challenge that has everything they don’t want – real Nordic Cuisine!

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Tim Mälzer vs. René Frank

Tim Mälzer is sent on a very emotional journey by his opponent chef René Frank. It goes to the birthplace of his culinary mentor Genaro Contaldo: to Maiori, on the famous Amalfi Coast! The challenge for Tim Mälzer is René’s inspiration for his two-star dessert “Eggplant Pecan”, which combines the ingredients chocolate and eggplant. Two-star chef René Frank sends Tim Mälzer to the place of Spanish high cuisine: San Sebastián! The original chef is Andoni Luis Aduriz from the legendary two-star restaurant Mugaritz – and for Tim, it’s all about variations on tuna.

René Frank first travels to Belgium. Here we go to Verviers, known throughout Belgium for their “tarte au riz”. The supposedly simple yeast dough cake filled with rice pudding has a far-reaching tradition protected by the brotherhood, the “Seigneurie du Verviz-riz”. You would think that this would be an easy task for the Pattisier… Then we will continue to Porto – a city known for a very special and unique sandwich. Have him try his hand at a sandwich made with cheese, egg, various meats and a very special sauce. For this, Tim sends him to a family business that is known for the best francesinha in all of Porto and has won several awards

Tim Mälzer vs. Thomas Bühner

For the first shoot, three-star chef Thomas Bühner sends Tim Mälzer to Marbella, Spain. It’s off to the training camp of the German national soccer team. After a brief meeting with national coach Hansi Flick and an intensive training session, it’s off to the box and it’s immediately clear to Tim who must have prepared the famous Sucuk Pasta and Protein Power Cake! It is the star chef Anton Schmaus, who has been cooking for the national players for five years. From here, Tim continues his journey to Lake Garda. Immediately after Tim’s arrival, the box is served to him in style on a bathing platform. Opening the box, however, reveals a sight to Tim that he did not expect. A classic French cooking technique in the form of a stuffed pork bladder. In it, to Tim’s surprise, is Rigatoni Cacio and Pepe. A housewife dish! Here, however, cooked by Riccardo Camanini of Lido 84.

For Thomas Bühner, it’s off to Zurich, a city to the taste of the former three-star chef. There, a task awaits him that he did not expect. Three Turkish dishes from the kitchen of Elif Oskan are in the box and bring Thomas Bühner properly confused. It gets more exotic with the next destination: Vietnam! Just the right place to push the former three-star chef to his culinary and physical limits. In Ho Chi Minh City, he is not only confronted with the tropical climate, but also has to recreate a popular street food there. Bánh Canh Ghẹ is a traditional crab soup with a distinctive taste.

Tim Mälzer vs. Elif Oskan & Markus Stöckle

Challengers Elif Oskan and Markus Stöckle send Tim Mälzer to the city where they met and fell in love: London! They worked together at “The Fat Duck***”, the famous restaurant of cooking legend Heston Blumenthal, where they also met their esteemed Canadian colleague Jonny Lake. The latter runs the Michelin-starred restaurant Trivet* and impresses his guests with a dessert called “Hokkaido Potato”. Tim is sent to the idyllic Allgäu by his opponents. There, in addition to a brief detour into the local Kneipp culture, something very special awaits him. Elif and Markus let Mälzer travel back into Markus’ past and send him to one of the most important people in Markus’ life – his mother Anneliese! Tim has to face a supposedly simple challenge at the family-owned “Funkenhof” and recreate traditional Bavarian classics.

Tim sends Elif and Markus to Vienna and has prepared some surprises for the two lovebirds! The couple’s challenge comes from a good friend of Tim’s and part of the “Kitchen Impossible” family: Konstantin Filippou! With him, Tim deals out powerfully against the two and reaches deep into the bag of tricks. Tim’s memory of the duel with Constantine many years ago moved him to give them “Trahanas noodles” as a task. In Singapore, things get culinary breathtaking for Elif and Markus. On the one hand, the city offers a variety of gourmet temples, and on the other hand, there are many different cultures with street food to match. Tim takes advantage of this circumstance and sends the couple to a traditional Singaporean hawker center. Here you can find all kinds of street food that you can’t find anywhere else in the city, like the “Oyster Cake”. A savory tart with a filling of oysters, meat and shrimp.

Tim Mälzer vs. Philipp Vogel

Philipp Vogel and Tim Mälzer have vowed never to send each other into a kitchen like the one Felix Schneider cooks at “etz”: too complex, too cerebral and too playful from their point of view. And actually, Philipp didn’t want to play the “etz card” either, but ultimately “Kitchen Impossible” is about winning, and so Tim now gets to cook a two-star cuisine in Nuremberg that Philipp himself describes as impossible to master in the context of “Kitchen Impossible.” Tim doesn’t let it spoil his good mood at first, he has an opinion about this kind of cooking that he makes no secret of. He teases Felix Schneider about it non-stop. The moment he sees the number of stars at the entrance to the restaurant, he gets nervous!Philipp Vogel has prepared a lot for Tim Mälzer. Whiskey tasting, city tour and Edinburgh Castle…everything is set for a Mälzer tour in Scotland. Unfortunately, only one person is not playing along: The Mälzer! Tim misses his flight, arrives late in Scotland and sabotages himself. In addition, Tom Kitchin, a star chef who lives for his dishes, and the grouse, a product whose preparation requires special techniques, are waiting. But Tim wouldn’t be Tim if he let such difficulties get him down. He decides to accept the challenge in Edinburgh and to go through with it as hard as nails – in true “Mälzer style”, of course.

In his podcast “Fiete Gastro” Tim asked his listeners to send in restaurant suggestions for his opponents. When he sees the name “RE-NAA” among the entries, he immediately knows that this is the perfect task for his opponent Philipp Vogel! Original chef Sven Erik Renaa is THE chef of Norway and unique in his country with his two stars. He tests Philipp with a seemingly simple dish that contains only a few components and invites underestimation on the part of the bird: Crawfish with pumpkin puree and sea buckthorn foam. Philipp is confident of victory, but as is so often the case, nothing is as simple as it seems and there is more to it in retrospect than meets the eye. The big question: Will the bird stay on top or will its wings be clipped after all?

As a Berlin city chef with a large, organized kitchen, Philipp is now learning what giving up luxury really means. He has shared his fear of small, cramped kitchens with Tim, which the latter naturally takes advantage of. The only logical consequence: to confront Philipp with his very personal Armageddon! Tim sends him into the middle of the Serbian forest. There, original chef Boban is waiting for him, who deliberately chose primitive preparation on the forest floor with fire and running stream water. The supposedly simple reinterpretation of the classic Beef Wellington is enough to keep Philip guessing. He racks his brains over the composition of the dough and looks forward to being able to make several attempts in a well-organized environment. How will he react when all that’s waiting for him the next day is a knife and a wooden board on the autumn forest floor?

Tim Mälzer vs. Graciela Cucchiara

For the ninth time in the eight years of “Kitchen Impossible” Tim Mälzer is now sent to Italy by his opponents, but never before has this challenge been so motivated. Because this time the opponent has Italian roots. Graciela Cucchiara learned how to make original Italian basil pesto in a mortar many years ago in Mele, north of Genoa, at Gianni Bruzzone’s Osteria Baccicin du Caru. Tim Mälzer is sent by his opponent Graciela Cucchiara to the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires, to walk in her footsteps.With so much memory and time travel, Tim is of course served an absolute traditional dish and Graciela’s childhood memory: the Locro. A winter stew based on white corn, beans, and squash with a meat chowder, traditionally eaten on the national holiday, May 25!

Tim idolizes Graciela and wants to see her suffer equally on “Kitchen Impossible,” so she gets a job in Barcelona that doesn’t suit her at all. With a dessert from Paco Méndez, the kitchen bull wants to lure his spirited opponent out of her reserve: Because Tim knows very well that she does not eat or prepare desserts! With “Garibaldi”, Graciela is given a star-level task and has to prove herself in a field she has not entered before. In this challenge, Tim Mälzer draws on the contacts of his best friends. He harnesses Lucki Maurer’s longtime employee Rosa to the culinary cart and sends Graciela to Rosa’s home – in the small Czech town of Kdyně. A native of the Czech Republic and now a retiree, Rosa cooks simple but hearty Bohemian cuisine based on traditional family recipes. This time the task is a real classic: roulades with Bohemian dumplings.

USA Edition”: Tim Mälzer vs. Edi Frauneder

Anything goes in this USA special, so Edi pulls an ace out of his sleeve in his town: Tim receives the box in the presence of Edi and is shocked. New York as a city stands for the home of many different cultures and countries. Edi sends Tim to meet Naeem Khandaker in his adopted country; he is considered a pioneer in representing Bengali street food cuisine in New York. In the dish, a new world full of spices and an extraordinary taste awaits Tim. But it will not only be exciting in terms of taste; Tim will have to work in what is probably the smallest kitchen in the history of “Kitchen Impossible”: The food truck! Edi confronts Tim with his own weapons. The Bullerei’s menu features mac and cheese, but does the maltster really know what original mac and cheese is all about anyway? Edi presents Tim with the ultimate challenge: He has to show what he knows about Edi’s adopted country. At the Kansas City Chiefs’ stadium, Tim is served the box and realizes that he not only has to prove himself to Edi on this dish, but also to his clientele in Germany. Can he continue to offer the American national dish in his restaurant, or does he fail the original? Along with mac and cheese, BBQ forms the cornerstone of American food culture. This is where Tim has to show his patience; it’s the only way he’ll succeed in serving the meat butter-tender.

What does the European find typically American? That’s right, a road trip! And that’s exactly what Tim Mälzer treats his opponent Edi Frauneder, the Austrian-born and once the youngest star chef in the world, to for the crossing to his first challenge. In the U.S. capital, Washington, D.C., Tim wants to see what of that past is still in Edi. So he sends him to Elcielo, the first Colombian Michelin-starred restaurant outside Colombia. Famous and awarded a Michelin star for its “Experience” concept based on neuroscience and avant-garde techniques. With their dishes, they tell stories to their guests, creating experiential cuisine that touches the senses. The question remains whether Edi Frauneder can faithfully recreate the ‘Onion & White Chocolate Soup’ as well as the ‘Tree of Life’, a yuca bread that pays tribute to the Colombian Amazon at Elcielo Restaurant, as a non-Colombian.

Tim Mälzer sends his opponent Edi Frauneder to Louisiana. In New Orleans, the city that unites French, African and American culture, it couldn’t get more traditional for him. A beignet for breakfast in front of colorful houses with beautiful, picturesque, cast-iron balconies, the Mississippi River and a carriage ride through the famous French Quarter as well as Bourbon Street, complete his excursion. On top of it all, Edi is surprised with a gospel choir singing just for him, while last but not least, he receives the box and discovers Creole heart cuisine based on old family recipes! For 75 years now, guests have been coming to the Baquet family mainly for the famous and authentic Creole filé gumbo and bread pudding with rum sauce. At what is now Li’l Dizzy’s Café, a small eatery in a residential neighborhood near town, Wayne Baquet Sr. masters his family’s dishes in his sleep. Does Edi Frauneder manage to recreate decades of traditional dishes?

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