Baiersbronn, a little German village with 7 michelin stars

By Sergio González | 17:39

There is nothing wrong with your blog setting. Don’t try to adjust the headline. Baiersbronn is actually a little German village and home to 7 Michelin stars. Only 16,000 people live in Baiersbronn yet they have as many 3 Michelin stars Restaurants as London or California. Welcome to foodies’ heaven!

German chefs weren’t that famous a few years ago, but they have taken the culinary stardom by storm. In 2014 Germany already holds the third position worldwide, after Japan and France, by number of michelin-starred restaurants. How could this happen? And harder to answer, how are there 7 Michelin stars in such a tiny place, which isn’t that picturesque or lovely after all?

Baiersbronn is located in the Black Forest, one of Germany’s most popular destinations, and close to iconic towns like Baden-Baden. Affluent tourists are around but we’ve learn from the TV show Kitchen Nightmares that just isn’t enough. People even travel to Baiersbronn for a meal cooked by this unique set of cooks whose craft makes molecular cuisine look outdated. Let’s get to it!

Most of us love cooking and we get all professional in the kitchen  but pros take it to another level; chefs are artists who work with flavours, essences and harmony. It is quite normal for chefs to develop hobbies related with arts like music playing or painting. However, the Michelin-starred chefs in Baiersbronn enjoy their free time pimping motorbikes and learning about engines. 

Germany’s approach to gastronomy is that of a scientist or engineer’s. They bring in lab techniques into cooking that will even make Ferrán Adriá tremble and they are achieving purity through very hard work. For these chefs things must work first on a much more detailed level, combining protein molecules with certain carbs, careful not to mix the wrong ones!

However, we shouldn’t be fooled by all this geeky fuss. Michelin hounds protect fiercely the reasoning behind why a chef deserves a Michelin star, but if we set eyes on the discards and not the winners we can infer they are not huge fans of complex structures that disguise nonchalant planning. German chefs may be working with syringes, foams and deconstructed everything but they add passion into the mix, creating a whole new gastro-culture we all can’t help falling for; they are applying the same scientific respect to wines, ending in outstanding results.

Truth be told, this wouldn’t explain the success of German food and wines -we should trace it back into Germany’s vocational training system and high quality industry standards. Most consumers identify German made with quality cars or dishwashers; now we should do the same with their choucroute, Berliners and sausages.

The 7 Michelin stars shinning in Baiersbronn culinary sky are almost evenly shared by two three-starred restaurants, Bareiss and Schwarzwaldstube. Though great competitors, the majority of chefs working in both of them were educated in this system that aims for high quality standards  in-class learning and work commitment.

Germany produces very skilled workers with a unique apprenticeship system. Students alternate attending classrooms like everyone else but they begin their internships since day one, not after finishing the whole course as most other countries do. Having this valuable insight of their future business helps students understand it with passion and not just on paper. They can develop practical skills they’ll need in the future. By the end of the training, German community college students are skilful  and usually hired by the same company where they did their studies.

Photo credit: Alf1958






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