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L’Arnsbourg-Hôtel K.

Restaurant of a Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux and hotel in the country. France,Baerenthal

Jean-Georges Klein

L’Arnsbourg-Hôtel K Baerenthal 57230

Around 1900, the Arnsbourg was a forestry workers’ house and a hostel for coal workers and lumberjacks. My grandmother, Rose Donnenwirth, transformed it into a small family boarding house. My mother, Lilly, turned it into a gourmet restaurant winning its first star in 1988.

After my hotel management studies, I worked in the dining room for 20 years. I only succeeded my mother when I reached 40. I am a self-taught man, enjoy innovating and spurred on by my sister Cathy, I won my general’s stripes, my three stars... And to add the finishing touches to this wonderful adventure, my wife, Nicole, came to join us to create Hotel K in 2006.

My aim is to create a constantly-changing cuisine which is full of flavour with a delicate touch of the emotions.

What was your most moving culinary experience?
A memorable dinner at Antoine Westermann’s. My mother had invited me there to celebrate passing the hotel on to me. At the end of the meal, a little concerned for the future of the Arnsbourg, she asked Antoine what he thought of it being taken over by her son. With a huge smile he told her, “If he enjoys cooking and is passionate about what he does, there should be no problem”. Thanks Antoine!

The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?
A 1st of January at five past midnight, 10 years ago, I called my second by all the names under the sun. The second dessert for New Year’s Eve was a chocolate fondant. Michel had practised it twice a day for a week. That evening he had squeezed the biscuits close together on the hotplates. The heat couldn’t penetrate properly and all the fondants ran the minute they came out of the oven. We had to improvise a whole new dessert!

Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
Use what the market has to offer and make good simple food. And put your heart into your cooking.

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