A guide to Germany's three starred chefs: Klaus Erfort

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 7th 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.  Portrait-Klaus-Erfort_4_RGB_screenKlaus Erfort is chef at his very successful restaurant Gästehaus Klaus Erfort in Saarbrücken in Saarland, which holds three Michelin stars. He trained in various renowned restaurants, among others in the Schwarzwaldstube, under Germany’s number one chef Harald Wohlfahrt. “I used to find it boring to watch people cooking,” reveals Klaus about his younger self, who had to linger in the kitchen while his mother cooked. After a short work experience during his school years in a small restaurant in Saarland, however, he realised that cooking fascinated him after all. Klaus did his apprenticeship at Restaurant Thiel in Saarland. A culinary patriot, he only worked in restaurants in the west of Germany. Following his time at Harald Wohlfahrt’s Schwarzwaldstube and in the Restaurant Orangerie, where he became head chef, he also worked as head chef at the Imperial Restaurant Schlosshotel Bühlerhöhe. At both the Orangerie and the Imperial he received one Michelin star. In 2002, he took the step to open up his own restaurant, Gästehaus Klaus Erfort in Saarbrücken, which soon received many accolades. Klaus received his first Michelin star in the same year he opened his restaurant. The second one followed in 2004 and the third in 2008. In the same year, Gault & Millau named him Chef of the Year. The restaurant is located in a white villa from the year 1881 with a wide green English styled garden, which gives the restaurant a special atmosphere. Having been raised close to the French border his cuisine is greatly influenced by the classical French tradition, which he combines with modern influences. It differs from other three star cuisines, as Klaus likes simplicity: “I cook with respect for the products I use and thus prefer to keep them whole and cook them gently.” His dishes combine only a few ingredients on one plate to create a balance of flavour. “It’s much harder to reduce a dish to just a few components than it is to combine a lot of different aromas,” he explains. A signature dish of his is the vegetable patch with Breton lobster, olive croquant and poached quail’s egg or the Mieral pigeon in a crust of sea-salt combined with jus of truffles and cream of celery.Portrait-Klaus-Erfort_3_RGB_screen The chef doesn’t like big publicity. He has never appeared in TV shows, he hasn’t even written a cookbook. He works exclusively in his kitchen for the 35 privileged guests who can get a seat in the restaurant. Most of the produce he uses in his dishes comes from the area, from his vegetables to his meat: “The best is the freshest, and the freshest is the closest.” That is the name of the game. What he enjoys about cooking is that a nice meal can change a person’s feelings: “You can affect people’s moods with your work.” When he is not lifting the moods of his patrons, he spends time with his wife and son, or takes a spin in his Porsche. 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 7th November 2014

A guide to Germany's three starred chefs: Klaus Erfort