Food hunting sounds like an adventure. What is behind it?
Basically, I'm looking for new, unusual producers and foods. But it's not only the finding that's important, but also the joint development. I am, so to speak, the direct link between the chef in the restaurant and the producer.
What role does food hunting play in gastronomy?
In Germany, it is still very small. We were pretty much the first to create such a position full-time. In Scandinavia's New Nordic Cuisine, you find food scouts more often. But I think we will hear more about it in Germany in the future.
What does a good food hunter need to be able to do in order to discover or pick up on new taste trends?
He must always be open to new things, keep an eye on different food trends and have a great interest in the development of food. Humanity is also part of it, because the relationships with producers are always of a friendly nature.
Where do you look for new ingredients?
Since we have a very regional concept in the restaurant, my search is limited to Bavaria with a special focus on Franconia.
How do you become aware of trends or secrets?
That varies a lot. I often get tips in conversations about where someone is growing something. The internet is also a good source. And going through life with your eyes open also helps.
How do you go about your search?
I'm actually always on the lookout. Rarely does our chef say 'Look for product XY'. What I find, we incorporate into the menu. When I come across promising producers, I visit them and let them show me everything. That's when you find out if you have the same interests and attitude. We usually invite them to our hotel so that they can see how we work.
What does an ingredient have to have in order for you to use it?
First and foremost, it has to taste good. It's no use telling a story about a special ingredient and then it remains flavourless. Using it just so you can say you've discovered an old, regional variety is the wrong approach for me.
What was the most extraordinary ingredient you have discovered so far?
It's not even the ingredients that are extraordinary, but the stories behind them. For example, we work with a tropical house in the northernmost part of Franconia that grows bananas, papayas, passion fruit and much more in incredible quality. Or with a pensioner who grows lemons in his converted conservatory in Middle Franconia, which are otherwise only found in Asia. To have found this exotic, fantastic-tasting variety in the middle of Franconia is the extraordinary thing for me!