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Hotel Dollenberg.

Restaurant and hotel in the woods. Germany,Bad Peterstal - Griesbach

Martin Herrmann

Hotel Dollenberg Bad Peterstal - Griesbach D-77740

I completed all my training in my parents’ hotel which served up to 1500 meals a day. But, as the saying goes, ‘he who can do more can do less’. I then set about learning how to offer a more sophisticated cuisine along the lines of the menus offered in the hotel owned by my brother-in-law, Meinrad Schmiederer, who became my teacher, at Hotel Dollenberg in the Black Forest.

Initially it was a modest hotel, with a staff of 20 and with 50 beds. As it grew, we have been able to change its style, and offer a rustic, regional cuisine in the Kaminstube and the Bauernstube, while creating a more sophisticated gourmet cuisine in Le Pavillon.

Of course, our reward has been to become part of Relais & Châteaux, then to win the first, and finally the second star in the Michelin guide. This has allowed us to host some of the most powerful men and women in the world, on the occasion of the NATO summit, between Strasbourg and Baden-Baden.

My brother-in-law and the whole family now run a luxury hotel with 200 beds and a staff of 140, built up over a single generation. The cuisine that we offer at Le Pavillon is both French and from Baden-Baden and is based on top-quality ingredients. It is our leading light.

What was your most moving culinary experience?
At The Palm in Las Vegas, a restaurant specialising in meat and lobster, when someone had made a mistake in taking our order. We had ordered two half lobsters for just the two of us and we found ourselves with six fine specimens each weighing 3 kg. The lobster that day was superb. But I couldn’t touch any more for two months afterwards!

The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?
During a wedding, the cake with its red roses was on its way out of the kitchen when it got stuck between the two automatic sliding doors! Fortunately, our pastry chef was able to whip up a new cake in no time at all.

Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
Go for a simple approach, buy the best ingredients, treat them with respect and get the cooking times exactly right.


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