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Interview with Matthias Hering

Head Chef at the Alemannenhof \ born in 1977 in Finsterwalde \ married \ 2 children

At the age of 6 he started taking swimming as a sport and won a number of championships up until the age of 22. He has reached the finals of the German championship several times. When he was 25, he became Head Chef at the Alemannenhof.


You could have had a successful sporting career, how come you decided to become a chef?

When I was 10 years old, I wrote a cookbook, and I still have it today. I was never the type of boy that helped my mother out in the kitchen. I just decided then that I wanted to be a chef and never changed my mind.

After being trained at a fine gourmet restaurant near Berlin, I signed up to be a chief cook in the navy. Some experiences that stand out are when we cooked for the mayor of Boston or for different people from NATO. Afterwards I got to know all about sophisticated, fine cuisine in a starred restaurant in Baiersbronn. This laid the foundation for my future career. I then cooked in different starred kitchens at different stations and continued my education.

How would you describe the Alemannenhof cuisine?

The Alemannenhof has always had a sophisticated history when it comes to cuisine, but of course you are also able to put your own spin on things. We have always used only the best products. We prefer if they come from the region, but if somewhere else offers better then we use that instead and always work with the best quality. The region is also an ideal location for cultivating our own culinary delights; we have the Kaiserstuhl right on our doorstep with its excellent climate, which gives us fresh fruit and high-quality vegetables and, of course, amazing wine too. Then there’s the trout and freshwater fish and the natural park cattle, to name just a few products.

What do you pay attention to most when choosing suppliers?

Like I mentioned before, we pay attention to quality and regionality. It’s particularly important to me that we have good suppliers who understand our ethos and our requirements. We also work with a few people who like to experiment, who are pioneers and also a little bit crazy. Just like we are! (Laughs)

What has been your personal recipe for success?

My palate. I can always rely on it. And, of course, that I have a talent for cooking. Apart from those, it’s been years of training, trying, tasting, testing over and over again. You’re not allowed to have any reservations. We’re pioneers in lots of things. We were the first in the region to put the Kobe steak on the map.

What are you particularly proud of?

I’m proud of my team, first and foremost. They’ve been with me now for between four to ten years and it’s great how we work together. It is fun to work with them I’m so proud of our food and the standard of cooking we have reached together.

And we couldn’t forget this question – what’s your favourite food?

Well, more than anything I’m inquisitive and like to try all the new creative dishes. But when I cook for myself at home, I also like to be down-to-earth. For example, I love stuffed cabbage rolls or just boiled potatoes with quark and linseed oil, because you need high-quality products if you want it to taste good, especially when cooking simple and honest cuisine.

Do you have a favourite place in the Black Forest?

My favourite place to visit with my family is the Mundenhof animal and nature adventure park. The spacious enclosures mean my kids get to observe the animals in as natural a habitat as possible, closeness between humans and animals is also encouraged here.