In most countries, the top restaurants are generally in the big cities. Baiersbronn, on the other hand, is a town of less than 15,000 inhabitants, in a peaceful valley in the northern part of the Black Forest, not far from Freudenstadt. It is Germany´s hidden culinary capital.
Within a radius of less than 12 kilometres, hedonists from all over the world will find not one but two gourmet restaurants holding three Michelin stars. One of them – Harald Wohlfahrt’s Schwarzwaldstube – is, according to many culinary guides, Germany´s number 1 eatery.
Claus-Peter Lumpp, who wields the wooden spoon in the kitchen of the elegant Restaurant Bareiss, in the like-named holiday resort in Baiersbronn-Mitteltal, also attained the top award from the Michelin inspectors in 2007. Last but not least, there is Jörg Sackmann, chef and owner of Schlossberg Restaurant in Baiersbronn-Schwarzenberg, who was given a second Michelin star in 2013 and is known as one of the most creative players on the German culinary scene.
So as of today, Baiersbronn counts a total of eight Michelin stars. More than one per 2,000 inhabitants. Even Spain’s culinary stronghold San Sebastián with 17 stars but a population of more than 180,000 cannot keep up with that. That’s why the New York Times called the little village “the secret world capital of good taste” in 2013. And somehow, this is quite true. The Schwarzwaldstube at the Traube Tonbach hotel has a global reputation as a source of culinary prowess, and Harald Wohlfahrt’s students have accumulated no less than 60 Michelin stars in recent years. But let’s get back to the heroes of this tale.
The Master – Harald Wohlfahrt
Iron discipline, a never-ending search for perfection, an abundance of creativity and a big heart –these are the four pillars on which Harald Wohlfahrt has constructed his success as a chef and as the leader of his kitchen team. Even his former disciples who now have their own Michelin stars always show the highest respect for their former boss.
When Claus-Peter Lumpp, assisted by Maître Thomas Brandt and Sommelier Jürgen Fendt, calls his guests to the table, they can expect a culinary opera, and connoisseurs wish that it would never come to an end. Lumpp’s recipes are convincing not only for the superb quality of the ingredients that he uses and the very intense aromas that send shivers of pleasure down the spine over and over again, but they are also arranged so perfectly that you almost feel sorry to have to destroy those edible still-life compositions with knife and fork.
The Magician of Aromas – Jörg Sackmann
When it comes to sensations on the palate, a Michelin star rating is a relative assessment, as we discovered during our visit to Jörg Sackmann. Although his kitchen has ‘only’ two stars, there are only a few German chefs whose cuisine is more varied and more reliable than that of the ever-cheerful chef at the Schlossberg restaurant. He loves using fresh herbs and all sorts of spices. With his son Nico, the Sackmann family is now at its fourth generation in the world of quality cuisine. Our recommendation: The Amuse Bouche experience – an extraordinary culinary voyage through Sackmann´s menu. But every recipe bears Sackmann´s unique signature.