Tantris was voted as the 62nd best restaurant in the world, although they slipped down from the 44th spot. Nevertheless, if you are in Germany and are after a luxurious meal amidst a luxurious ambiance, then Tantris is the best place to visit. Tantris’ cuisine is created by its famous head chef, Chef Hans Haas, and his exemplary culinary skill can really coax out the natural flavors of his dishes.
Chef Haas was born on the 2nd of May 1957 in Oberau, Wildschönau, which is located in the Tirol region of Austria. He started his apprenticeship in the year 1975 where he worked at the Gasthof Kellerwirt in Oberau where he stayed for four years. In 1979, Chef Haas then went on to work as a chef de partie at the Hotel-Restaurant Bachmaier in Weissach. Chef Haas also worked as a chef de partie for two more years in Ettlingen at the Restaurant Erbprinz as well as in Illhäuser at the Restaurant Auberge de l’ill where he worked with the famous Chef Marc Häberlin.
After his stints at these restaurants, he then moved to Munich where he found work at the Restaurant Aubergine, working under Chef Eckart Witzigmann, a famous Austrian chef, as his sous chef. He stayed in Munich for five years before transferring once more to Frankfurt and working at the Restaurant Brückenkeller as its chef de cuisine. He spent four years in this restaurant.
It was in 1991 that he went back to Munich to work in Tantris as its head chef, and he has been its head chef ever since. Doubts were expressed though when Chef Haas took over the kitchens from its former head chef, Chef Heinz Winkler, especially since it was Chef Winkler who placed Tantris on the international culinary map. Under the former head chef, Tantris had three Michelin stars. However, the present head chef, Chef Haas, has more than met the expectations of its loyal patrons. The cuisine is just as excellent, and the service is just as superb. Tantris may only have two Michelin stars, but this is not because they do not deserve a third star but because Chef Haas continues to refuse to give in to the politics that surround Michelin recognition and statuses. In fact, he prefers to stay simple and away from television limelight.
A very simple man Chef Haas may be, but there is nothing simple about his cuisine. His cuisine totally embodies the culinary philosophy of Tantris yet he infuses his own personality into the dishes that he creates for the diners of Tantris, and what comes out are exemplary dishes, which are truly a feast for the senses.
Under his leadership, he has gained awards and recognitions for his culinary skill. In fact, Gault et Millau named him as the Chef of the Year in 1995, and in 1999, he received a European Culture Award. The restaurant has also received two Michelin stars as well as 18 points from Gault Millau under his supervision. These are just some of the honours that Tantris has received, with Chef Haas at its helm.
Chef Hans Haas’ Wild Salmon with Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Garlic mashed potatoes:
- 350 g (12 oz.) floury Potatoes
- 100 g (3 1/2 oz.) hot milk
- 20 g (4 tsp.) butter
- 2-3 tbsp. garlic purée
- 1-2 tbsp. whipped cream
- Grated nutmeg
- 4 slices of wild Salmon, about 60 g (2 oz.) each
- 150 g (5 oz.) butter
- Juice of 1 lemon-
- 4 tsp. caviar (optional)
1. Quarter the potatoes and cook in boiling salted water. Remove them and put them immediately through a potato ricer.
2. Add the butter; season with salt and nutmeg and blend in the hot milk.
3. At the end, add the garlic purée and cream, then correct the seasoning; the potatoes should be creamy.
4. While the potatoes are cooking, remove any bones from the salmon; salt it lightly on all sides.
5. Butter an ovenproof dish. Place the slices of salmon in it side by side and coat with a little butter. Cover the dish tightly and cook the fish on the lowest rack of an oven preheated to 80 °C (150° F) for 10 to 12 minutes depending on the thickness of the slices.
6. Remove from the oven and let the salmon cool for a few minutes.
7. Reheat the remaining butter in a skillet until it begins to brown. Season with salt and lemon juice and froth lightly with a whisk.
1. Place the salmon fillets on plates with the garlic mashed potatoes.
2. Pour the brown butter over top and garnish the mashed potatoes with a spoonful of caviar per serving.
Servings: Serves 4.
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Located at the heart of the Basque Country is a small house that, at first glance, looks perfectly normal. Inside, however, you will find the most sumptuous grilled food cooked by none other than the master of the hearth himself, Victor Arguinzoniz. The head chef of the Asador Etxebarri, which was voted as the 44th best restaurant of the world, Chef Arguinzoniz is known throughout the world for the exceptional taste and quality of his grilled cuisine.
He grew up in a farmhouse located in the Basque Hills, an area not really that far from the restaurant he currently owns. Since the households in his community often had no electricity, building a fire on a daily basis and using only the hearth for cooking became ingrained into his very being. As such, he grew up with the aroma of wood smoke. Little did he know, however, that this upbringing would build the foundation for a stellar career in gastronomy.
Before becoming a world-renowned chef, Chef Arguinzoniz actually followed quite a few career paths. He finished high school and did his military service, and afterwards became a forester. Sometimes, he would go to the local plaza in the town of Axpe and hang out with a few of his friends and grill some steaks. This, no doubt, had quite a bit on influence on his next move, which was to buy a 200-year old stone building which was practically a half-ruined restaurant. That was in the year 1989. He bought it on a whim, claiming that he simply “liked grilling”. He also wanted to keep the Basque village restaurant alive because it was a “crucial community center.”
At first, Chef Arguinzoniz tried to serve the more traditional grill-house dishes, but with his talent, he managed to make them very deliciously different though. However, Chef Arguinzoniz wanted something more. He started craving for the more sophisticated dishes in the high-class restaurants, dreaming of making them on the grill. Of course, a lot of dishes were practically impossible to cook using a grill or a hearth at that point, but “impossible” was not a word that this top chef acknowledged, and instead of taking things lying down, he created several innovations for the grill himself, inventing gadgets out of scratch.
What was great about Arguinzoniz was that he actually thought about how he could achieve his ideas. For example, Angulas. Normally, chefs would think that it is impossible to grill them because they are simply so fragile. However, Arguinzoniz managed to do so, but not before creating a stainless steel mesh saucepan which could be placed high above the fire so as to not overcook the Angulas.
Soon enough, he managed to create his own personal grills, with grates that can be moved higher or lower through a pulley system, making their distance to the fire adjustable, and he also has various special baskets wherein he can cook his food. These innovations allowed him to create dishes which have a subtle taste of smoke and yet are still tender enough to be truly savored.
Sure enough, the unique grilled dishes received much acclaim for food critics, and several people travel to the Baques each year just to sample Chef Arguinzoniz’ exquisite cooking.
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It was only last year that Chef Michael Dekker became the head chef of this popular fine-dining restaurant in Canada, Rouge. It was a very good move for its owners to make him as the restaurant’s head chef as this year, 2010, they got into the top 100 list of San Pellegrino’s 100 best restaurants in the world.
Chef Dekker was born in Ontorio, Canada in the town of St. Catharines, but it was in Smithville though where he grew up. When he was a teenager, they moved to Calgary, and it was also where he made his first steps towards pursuing a culinary career. He was only 14 years old when he landed a kitchen job at the Earl’s Restaurant, and his main duty was washing the dishes. He then went on to work at the La Dolce Vita, and he stayed with them for about eighteen months.
Knowing that the right career for him was to be a chef, he completed his college course and training at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology where he earned honours. After graduation, he then found a job at the catering service of SAIT’s chef instructors Georg Windisch as well as Simon Dunn. It was there that he finished his apprenticeship, after which he joined the team of Chef Vincent Parkinson, who was the head chef of Calgary Golf & Country Club. At the Calgary Golf & Country Club, considered as one of the country’s most exclusive and elitist private country clubs, Chef Dekker worked as a saucier.
Chef Dekker was the sous chef of the county club for more than half a decade when a new opportunity to shine and explore his culinary personality presented itself. He was asked to become the head chef of Rouge.
His culinary career though is a very interesting one. Not only is he very active in the competitions, but he has also proven to the culinary world that he is a very skilled chef. In fact, in 2008, he bagged the second place at one of the most prestigious international culinary competitions held in Paris, France, the Jeunes Commis Rotisseurs. He has also participated at the Bocuse d’Or International culinary competition last year as the equipment manager of the country’s culinary team.
Aside from being the head chef of Rouge and participating at culinary competitions, Chef Dekker is also a member of the Elizabeth Blau and Associates, which is considered as one of the United States’ major culinary consulting firms. This is also a job that the chef fully enjoys as he loves planning and creating unique dishes that will appeal to the different tastes of individuals.
When asked about their recent addition into the top 100 restaurants of the world, the answer is a very modest one, that the success of Rouge is credited to the team behind the restaurant, not just one individual, and that this great recognition was through the labor, love, and creativity of the Rouge team.
Chef Michael Dekker’s Perfect Christmas Turkey
For the Brine:
- 1 (18 pound) -whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
- 2 cups-kosher salt
- 2 whole- bay leaves
- 1 tbl -whole black peppercorns
- 1 tbl-dried thyme
Cooking the Bird:
- 1/2 cup-butter, melted
- 2-large onions, peeled and chopped
- 4-carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4-stalks celery, chopped
- 2-sprigs fresh thyme
- 1-bay leaf
- 1-cup dry white wine
- Night Before: Rub the turkey inside and out with the kosher salt. Place the bird in a large stock pot, and cover with cold water, add in bay leaves, black peppercorns and thyme. Place in the refrigerator, and allow the turkey to soak in the salt and water mixture 12 hours, or overnight.
- Day Of: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Thoroughly rinse the turkey, and discard the brine mixture. Brush the turkey with 1/2 the melted butter. Place breast side down on a roasting rack in a shallow roasting pan. Stuff the turkey cavity with 1 onion, 1/2 the carrots, 1/2 the celery, 1 sprig of thyme, and the bay leaf, or with mom’s stuffing recipe. Scatter the remaining vegetables and thyme around the bottom of the roasting pan, and cover with the white wine.
- Roast uncovered 3 1/2 to 4 hours in the preheated oven, until the internal temperature of the thigh reaches 180 degrees F (85 degrees C). Carefully turn the turkey breast side up about 2/3 through the roasting time, and brush with the remaining butter. Allow the bird to stand about 30 minutes before carving.
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Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz learned his skills and techniques from world-renowned chefs, some of which are Adria of El Bulli and Arzak of Arzak Restaurant, but what made him world famous was his very own talent in creating playful and flavor-infused dishes. Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz is sometimes affectionately called as the mad scientist and gastronomic genius of the culinary world as he can create harmony between food and technology, the reason for which his restaurant, the Mugaritz, became known in the world and landed at the fifth spot in this year’s 2010 World’s Best Restaurants.
Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz was born in San Sebastian, Basque Country, Spain in the year 1971. He enrolled at the School of Hotel San Sebastian to start his culinary career, and on the weekends as well as on the holidays, he worked in a pizzeria to help with his education. During his career, he has worked with some of the best chefs in the world, and through them, he has learned a lot when it comes to the techniques and different styles in cooking. He has worked with Hyan mari Arzak, the world-famous chef of Arzak, and he has also worked with Ferran Adrià when he became a member of El Bulli. He has also worked with Chef Martin Berasategui.
Although he is fast becoming recognized for his work, this did not stop him though from opening his own restaurant and embarking on his solo career, so in 1998, Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz opened his own restaurant, Mugaritz. He is the head chef and the manager of the restaurant where he was given free reign to explore his skills and be adventurous with his dishes. His techniques in the kitchen are very innovative and very fresh, and it can be seen in the way he plates his scrumptious dishes, which can already be said as an art.
Mugaritz is a half-hour drive away from San Sebastian, and it can be found on top of a hillside, but these do not stop his guests though from visiting his restaurant. In fact, a lot of his clients plan their holidays around visiting Mugaritz, and they have come not only for the exemplary cuisine but also for the view.
Aside from being a chef, Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz is also active outside of Mugaritz. In fact, he makes it a point to participate at conferences, be it national or international, to learn new skills, master it, and apply them to his restaurant. Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz has also written and published several books, three of which are the Tabula Bacalao, Goie Gras, and Diccionario Botanico Para Cocineros, among others. In Tabula Bacaloa, he shares his expertise in codfish; and in Foie Gras, foie gras. The Diccionario Botanico Para Cocineros showcases his knowledge in edible flowers and in perfumes, and how one can pair these up with other ingredients to create delectable dishes. Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz created his own garden behind Mugaritz, and this garden is home to a variety of edible flowers and herbs. He also grows his own vegetables and explores the surrounding areas of Mugaritz to look for wild mushrooms.
Through the expertise of Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz, Mugaritz finally received recognition when it got into the list of the World’s Best Restaurants, landing on the 7th spot in 2007 and climbed up to the fourth spot in 2008. However, Mugaritz dropped down a number, claiming 5th spot, for this year’s World’s Best Restaurants.
Right now, Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz is still searching for ways on how he can reinvent himself, which can be translated into his work. He is constantly looking for inspiration that can improve his techniques and offer only the best to his clients.
Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz’s Little Squid Cooked Braised with Vine Shoot Braise with Vegetable Shortening and Reduced “Begihandi” (Squid in Basque) Cream Sauce
For the vegetable broth:
- 1.5 l water
- 25 g carrots
- 25 g leaks
- 2 garlic cloves
- 50 g onion
- 250 g chick peas soaked since the evening before
- 1 bone
- 100 g collagen-rich meat (hock, cheek, etc.)
- Put all the ingredients in a pan.
- Lightly season and let cook on low heat for 4 to 5 hours before using.
- Filter and set aside.
For the black broth:
- ½ l vegetable broth
- 150 g shucked purple corn
- 0.5 g yeast extract
- 2.5 g fine salt
- 20 g squid ink
- Blend all the ingredients, except the purple corn, and bring to a boil.
- Pass through a blender and filter with the help of a sieve.
- Add the purple corn and boil the mixture together slowly for at least an hour on the lower end of the grill.
- Filter the broth and remove the purple corn.
Vine root dough:
- 325 g wheat flour
- 30 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 5 g bakers yeast
- 160 ml black broth
- 5 g salt
- Add the black broth to the yeast kept at room temperature (about 250C). Dissolve and add the oil then stit with a spoon, until well thinned out.
- Sift the flour then pour it into a mixer. Add the black broth with the yeast and flour, knead for 10 minutes, take out the dough and shape into a ball. Place this ball in a salad bowl and let it rise for 1 hour at room temperature of about 25°C.
- Roll out the dough with a roller then cut into wide strips. Stretch the dough with the palms of your hand and press with your fingers to make small balls appear. Put these strips on a sheet and let them sit for 20 minutes until small ridges are formed. Stretch out the strips to refine them. Put in oven for 3 minutes at 200°C. Take out of oven and cut the strips lengthwise in half while the dough is still warm so the new vine shoots don’t break.
For the Iberian broth:
- 60 g pig tail
- 40 g rancid, salted white lard
- 60 g pork bone
- 40 g shortening
- ½ kg fresh white pork meat
- 30 g carrots
- 40 g leaks
- 60 g onion
- 40 g chick peas
- 100 g potato
- 1.3 l water
- Rinse off the pig tail, the bone and fat to take off excess salt. Put a large amount of water to boil in a big pan. In the boiling water, add the pork offal and boil them to eliminate any rancidness or impurities. Remove from this water and pass under sink water.
- In an oven at 170°C, brown the pork meat cut in dices with a trickle of extra virgin olive oil. Once the meat is browned, take off the stove and take away any excess fat.
- In a bowl, put the tail, the salted white lard, the bones, the shortening, chick peas, onions, carrots, leaks, potato, grilled meat and water. Let it all hydrate for 2 hours. Then cook, on low heat without boiling, so as not to disturb the broth, until the latter has been reduced in half. Filter with a sieve and filter paper. Salt and set aside.
For the vegetable shortening:
- ¼ green watermelon
- Iberian broth
- Gut the watermelon using a paring knife until you see the white layer of the peal. With a potato peeler, cut fine 5cm strips and 1cm wide in this white layer. Cook these strips in the water for about 2 minutes until they lose their tendinous appearance.
- In a vacuum pressure cooker, put the watermelon strips submerged in Iberian broth. At a temperature less than the melted broth (under 35°C), have the strips be permeated with the aroma by opening and closing the air outlet. It is by this suction that the fruit absorbs the flavour of the Iberian broth. The veiny and half-transparent appearance of the strands end up looking like the shortening.
- If you don’t have a vacuum pressure cooker, another process would be to vacuum pack the strips with the Iberian broth and leaving them at fairly low temperatures (45-50 º C).
For the garlic casein:
- ½ head of garlic
- 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
- Cut up the garlic in small pieces. Put them in a pan and cover them with olive oil, cook on low heat, continuously stir with a whisk until the blend becomes a pretty golden colour.
- Quickly cool the mixture down by plunging the pan into a double boiler full of water and ice.
For the aubergine powder:
- 1 aubergine
- Cover the aubergines in aluminium paper and bury it under the charcoal.
- Let it grill until it’s totally dehydrated.
- Mince up in an electric blender, pass the powder through a fine strainer and set aside.
For the ashes:
- 70 g dry bread
- 4 g garlic casein
- 1.4 g aubergine powder
- 0.2 g salt
- Take off crust from traditional bread.
- Cut white bread in dices and dry in the oven for 1 hour at 12°C.
- Once white bread is dry, put in mixing glass.
- Then add the well-drained, ground garlic casein, aubergine powder and salt.
- Mix on highest level to obtain a grey powder resembling ashes.
- Set aside in a closed container and in a dry area.
For the squid broth:
- 875 g onion
- 25 ml olive oil
- 600 g clean squid
- 200 ml white wine
- 5 egg whites
- 5 g de fine salt
- Peel and cut the onions in large pieces. Add some oil in a pot and sauté the onions until they become caramelized. Once caramelized, add the cut-up squid and white wine. Cover the pot and let cook slowly during 1 hour. Then filter and set aside in the fridge. When the mixture is chilled, take off the fat surface layer. In a salad bowl, beat the egg whites well and add to squid broth. Then whisk again on the fire at low heat. Leave until the egg white curdles and the impurities become attached.
- Using a skimmer, remove the egg white from the surface. Pass the broth through a damp cloth and then a strainer.
For the smooth creamy squid sauce :
- 16 g kuzu
- 200 ml squid broth prepared during the previous step
- 100 g natural squid ink
- In a small pan, mix the cold kuzu, the squid broth and ink pockets (pierce well so all the ink is emptied).
- Dissolve well and pass the mixture through the strainer over a pot. Cook on the grill at a moderate temperature and stir using a spatula, until the mixture homogeneously jellifies and has the texture of a massage jelly.
- Set aside with a cover, or shrink wrap, in a warm double boiler.
For the squid:
- 4 squid fished on a hook and cut into pieces.
- For the presentation, use the squid fished on a hook which are the size of a finger.
- Extra virgin olive oil and sprinkles of salt
- Open the squids, using a paring knife, from the pen-part to the other end. Empty them, clean them, and cut them in pieces (4×4 cm).
- Put them on the grill at 225-250º C until they turn a golden brown. Put them immediately into a heated salamander at about 45-50º C for 2 to 3 minutes, just before serving up the plate. It’s very important to not break the heat chain.
Ground vine shoots
FINAL TOUCH AND PRESENTATION
In a plate with a dome, serve up a generous serving of squid cream sauce. Sprinkle over with a spoonful of ashes. Arrange 5 vine roots and a strip of vegetal shortening. Then atop, place the squid pieces, bodies and tentacles fished on a hook. Put on another vine shoot. With a special pipe to make smoke, and by slightly raising the dome for enough room to slide in the pipe end, fill up the hollow part of the dome. Lower, and set it on the plate, therefore creating a smoke pocket. This smoke will become impregnated with the traditional grill aroma until the guest arrives…then off comes the dome! This guest will be the best seated to appreciate these smoke effects.
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