A guide to Germany's three starred chefs: Kevin Fehling

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 6th November 2014
In the run up to the release of this year’s German Michelin guide, we take a closer look at Germany’s 3 Michelin star restaurants and chefs.  La Belle Epoque (2)Kevin Fehling is the head chef at the La Belle Epoque in the far north of Germany in Schleswig-Holstein. The ambitious chef has worked for Harald Wohlfahrt at the Schwarzwaldstube and is the youngest chef, at 36, to have gained three Michelin stars in Germany. But having received the greatest accolade, he isn’t resting on his laurels. Kevin was born in Delmenhorst in the north of Germany in 1977. Although he was not too disciplined in school, he was very ambitious in other areas, such as skating, and soon he discovered his passion for cooking. He completed his three-year apprenticeship at the Hotel Thomsen in his hometown Delmenhorst and from there went to work in several restaurants in Bremen and Hamburg. He then spent two years cooking as head chef on the MS Europa. Following his time on the ship, he worked at the renowned three Michelin starred Restaurant Schwarzwaldstube in Baiersbronn with Harald Wohlfahrt. In 2005, he joined the La Belle Epoque in the Colombia Hotel Casino Travemünde, close to Lübeck. After three years as head chef, he received his first Michelin star, in 2011 his second and in 2013 his third. It has always been his goal to earn a Michelin star, even when he was only a commis chef, he says. And when he achieved his first star, he was driven by the possibility of gaining another one.La Belle Epoque (3) Since the third star was awarded, the restaurant is booked out constantly – even in the winter, when there are usually no tourists in the north. With only 18 covers, La Belle Epoque is one of the smallest gourmet restaurants in Germany and makes the visit a very intimate and special one. Kevin spends about three to four hours every day creating new dishes. He thinks that most chefs don’t take enough time for creativity nowadays but that this is what makes a chef extraordinary and unique. Since he has earned the third star, he says, he has become more ruthless creatively. Chefs that have influenced him in his cooking are Harald Wohlfahrt and Wahabi Nouri, who have taught him a lot. But now he isn’t influenced by anyone anymore: “This process is completed.” La Belle Epoque (1)The concept of his cuisine is cosmopolitan, which is “implemented very creatively and with absolute perfection.” He wants to surprise his guests with every dish. The guests shall have an experience of taste they have never had before, “similar to The Fat Duck or elBulli.” It is all about taste and quality, he says. His signature dish is the ale and oyster dish, an original combination of seafood. The ale is made the “Ugani” way, which is how the Japanese prepare their speciality. It took him about three months to be able to prepare the ale the way it is supposed to be prepared. When he is not cooking he spends time with his wife Anna, his daughter and his dog. He likes to travel and to go out for dinner. But being a chef in a successful three starred Michelin restaurant takes up most of his time. By Vera Kleinken Look out for our editorial on Friday when we ask the question: “Is German cuisine the best kept secret?”

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 6th November 2014

A guide to Germany's three starred chefs: Kevin Fehling