As a Michelin star chef, you’re well qualified in the area of enjoyment. Why is it important to enjoy food?
What is perceived as enjoyment is subjective and therefore varies from individual to individual. For me, enjoyment is not restricted to food alone. Listening to the Dresden Philharmonic is an experience to be enjoyed. Even parachuting from a plane can be enjoyable. I want my particular field of enjoyment – gourmet cuisine – to be consciously perceived as such. There are not only physical benefits to savouring food and drink but also mental ones. It feels good afterwards. The memory of it lasts longer than your food intake for that day. I would even go so far as to say that gourmets have a better life!
What makes for a successful meal?
Take first-class produce, depth of taste, good company, plenty of time, a relaxing ambience, the right choice of drinks and just a smidgen of passion.
What is the biggest enjoyment killer?
Being in a hurry.
When and how did you discover your passion for good food?
My parents have a restaurant, so I grew up with it from an early age. Sometimes, a background like that can have a negative effect. But I had a great childhood, so it never occurred to me to do something different.
Do you have any tips for us amateurs on how to impress guests without necessarily being talented at cooking?
Cook naked, wearing only an apron. You could try that.
Which ingredient do you think is totally underestimated?
Tomatoes! There are so many different varieties. It’s important that they are eaten at the right time. Out of season, you should avoid them. You don’t have to eat them only in salad or in the classic format of a sauce. For example, I use them to make a clear essence, a creamy soup, tomato foam bread, mousse, dessert or half-dried for a spread. I often use tomatoes to give a dish a greater depth of taste.