Star Chef Heinz Winkler
I only use first-class products to achieve perfection.
Heinz Winkler: One of Germany's most famous chefs
Education: Paul Bocuse among others
Success: At 31, youngest three-star chef in the world, Germany's 1st
Career: Successor to Eckhart Witzigmann at the legendary Tantris, Munich
Lifetime dream: Owner of Residenz Heinz Winkler, Aschau im Chiemgau for 30 years
Concept for many years: Cuisine Vitale
Aschau in Chiemgau. The former post office is located on the outskirts of the village. A place of hospitality since the 15th century, for 30 years it has been a refuge where lovers of star cuisine and devotees of first-class hotels can feel equally at home. Decades ago, star chef Heinz Winkler converted the listed building based on his own ideas of exclusive style and local charm.
An interview with Heinz Winkler about his path and his ideas:
How would you describe your standard of superior hospitality?
My guests must always have the feeling that they have come to the right place. They must feel welcome, live their lifestyle and sense something unique: in the restaurant, in the hotel, in the spa.
To make your dream come true, you replaced the big city of Munich for rural Aschau. Was that a difficult move?
The consideration "Should I? Shouldn't I?" was difficult. But in the end you realise very quickly that it was actually an easy step and the decision was a good one. In the city, I had the experience that people chase after other people's goals. Here in the country, we concentrate on the essentials, on special moments, on the beautiful things.
You developed the Cuisine Vitale. What exactly does this cuisine represent?
I once described it like this: The harmonious balance of sensual pleasure and vitalisation of body and mind. My guests enjoy a light cuisine that inspires and does not weigh you down.
How can we imagine a classic dish from your kitchen?
Lobster carpaccio: Lobster, cooked briefly, sliced wafer-thin, with basil and a little lemon, ready! I use few but excellent products, first-class food. This is the only way to maximise flavours.
When renovating and furnishing the residence in Aschau, you realised your personal ideas of interior design. What was important to you?
The harmonious combination of traditional elements and classic design. It can be found throughout the entire house. In the Venetian restaurant, in the rooms and even in the bathrooms, we always use decorative details which underline the character of the historic building. You will not find elements that follow short-lived trends anywhere.
Is the feel-good aspect also important to you for your staff?
If a chef is allowed to build a kitchen according to his own ideas, do you know what the result will be? A room with 220 square metres, and that for about 15 employees! Of course, maximum functionality plays a role here. For example, it is a must that the surface of materials are suitable for food preparation in the kitchen. But it is just as important that people enjoy working here every day. For example, we chose salmon-coloured tiles for the walls instead of the usual white ones. They give the whole room a sunny character even when the weather outside is not cooperating. An ambience that inspires - whilst developing the finest creations.