11th Althoffs Festival of Master Chefs 2013 at Schloss Bensberg

Last Sunday it was time: I had the honor to be a guest at the 11th Althoffs Festival of Master Chefs at the Althoff Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg.
Together with Stevan from NutriCulinary and Sophia from Cucina Piccina spent a pretty rainy August-Sunday in the beautiful Bensberg Castle to have a great time in the culinary world.

And to say it in the first place: my expectations were not disappointed!
I was allowed to drink unbelievably good wines and experienced one or two culinary surprises.
The so-called "Walking Lunch" is an experience for itself and for those first 5 glasses of wine can be found in the divers The wings and floors of the castle are a bit lost ...
No major event without a battle plan - we thought and wondered exactly when we want to go where.
With us were about 700 more guests on site, to more than 12 stations with a total of 27 Michelin stars, 229.5 Gault Millau points and 36.5 gourmet F wanted to delight. So it was accordingly crowded when we met for the champagne reception in the hotel lobby Because it was furthest away and was just pouring out, we made our way to the Vendôme , the in-house top restaurant (# 10 on The World's 50 Best Restaurants ") under the direction of Joachim Wissler (3 Michelin stars, 19.5 Gault-Millau-points), who was named Chef of the Year 2013 by the FEINSCHMECKER.
Served there the host Nasturtium gazpacho with gassing rice and apple birch sap berry granite and Bbq BBQ citrus refreshes, summer vegetable salad with fennel pollen, white tomato butter .
What a prelude! There was a 1998 Vina Tandonia Blanco Reserva from the Bodega R. López de Heredia, Rioja, Spain - the 6 years barrel maturity could not be denied, the white wine was strong and almost sherry-like in smell and taste .

Our next stop should be at Thomas Martin (2 Michelin stars, 17 Gault Millau points) from the Jacobs Restaurant at the Hotel Louis C. Jakob in Hamburg.

A Atlantic Atlantic lobster was served there - an extremely exciting combination.
There was a wonderful Moselriesling: 2012 Riesling - rock terrace of the winery Jabelius-Lichter, Mosel, Germany .
Next to it was sushi variations of Masanori Tomikawa (1 Michelin Star, 16 Gault Millau points) from the Yamazato restaurant at the Hotel Okura in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
He served classic California rolls, salmon, tuna, sea bream and shrimp There was a great 2011 Puilly Fumé "Aubaine" by Domiane Jonathan Pabiot, Loire, France. .
One can imagine that I'm pretty blissful now was ...
After it was extremely warm despite the bad weather, we were very grateful to have gotten a nice spot at the open window on the Bel Etage.
There we stayed a little longer than planned, enjoyed the delicious Puilly Fumé and chatted about what later would culminate us in culinary terms ...
Next we entered the big ballroom and started at the station of Christian Scharrer (2 Michelin stars, 18 Gault Millaut points) from the Buddenbrooks Restaurant at A-Rose Resort Travemünde.
He presented Goose Liver "Fürst Pückler" and I loved the components and the arrangement. A real highlight: goose liver with cocoa powder! Not cute, just harsh, great.
There was a 2006 Riesling Elite Nackenheim Rothenberg from Weingut Gunderloch, Rheinhessen, Germany - one of my absolute favorites of the day!
Tim Raue (2 Michelin stars, 19 Gault Millau points) from Berlin we did not want to miss and made and so on in next the salon Goethe. It was now 15:30 clock, so the event has been running for 2 hours, but then the angry awakening: off!A shame! But too much rumverdödelt?
There was still wine and was again a real revelation: 2011 Riesling - Kallstadter Saumagen from the winery Koehler -Ruprecht, Palatinate, Germany I never as Riesling would have tasted. It was strong, fruity, with grass and caramel notes, what a taste!
Opposite, Thierry Thiercelin (1 Michelin star, 3 Gault-Millau toques) from the gourmet restaurant Le Belrose at the Althoff Hotel Villa Belrose in Saint-Tropez we got another Lamb fillet under a tomato crust on lemon sablé with capers, ratatouille vegetables and basil sauce . I liked it: simple, solid, well prepared! I like stuff and I liked the combination very well, even though it looked rather boring and colorless compared to the other dishes.
Back in the big ballroom we made a stop at Dirk Luther (2 Michelin stars, 19 Gault-Millau-points) from the restaurant Meierei in Alter Meierhof Vitalhotel in Glücksburg.
There we got the last portions sardine, fennel, tomato . Sounds unspectacular, but was an absolute highlight. Says somebody who really does not like fennel at all and does not count tomatoes as their favorite vegetables ... But the whole composition was absolutely fantastic.
There was a 2012 Grüner Veltliner Der Ott, Spiegel, Rosenberg from the winery Bernhard Ott, Wagram, Austria. . Another wine highlight of the day!
Slightly nervous about the We went to the Business Lounge to experience Michael Wignall (2 Michelin stars) from the restaurant The Latymer at the Pennyhill Park Hotel in Surrey, United Kingdom. But unfortunately only empty plates left ...
With his compatriot William Drabble (1 Michelin star) from the restaurant Seven Park Place at the Althoff St. James's Hotel & Club in London, In the UK, we still got carpaccio of hand-grabbed scallops with white truffle vinaigrette and Jerusalem artichokes . I love truffles in every variation, but with scallops I just do not get warm - even if they are hand-caught and cut extremely fine.
2012 Chardonnay Azienda Agricola Jermann, Friuli, South Tyrol could Unfortunately I can not convince myself.
style arranged: straw bales, Indian statues, smoke - what a staging! In a large circle you could run the buffet with the theme " American Dessert Interpretations " and got the shot over the cowboy coffee to ice cream or cheesecake really in tens of variants what the sweet heart desired. I would like to have captured the great staging in pictures - but the scenery was not photographable for me. We were pretty full already at the time ...
At the end of the day there was a rustic buffet in the lobby: currywurst, hot dogs, Soup and cheese platter to jazz music ... We saved the buffet accordingly.
At that time it was not easy to get a glass of water - so I let the day fade away as I started it : with a glass of champagne.
How that goes ...