Exciting, emotional and with a harmonious ending: an evening spent at Victor’s Fine Dining by Christian Bau feels like a perfectly-staged theatrical performance. The fact that the chef has pulled off a complete turnaround in style, from classic to modern, simply adds to the thrill of the performance.
Perl-Nennig may not sound like a vibrant major city. In fact you would need to have your satnav to hand to even find your way to this far-flung corner of Saarland. However, Perl-Nennig is a true metropolis when it comes to gastronomy. This is because the Renaissance gem, Schloss Berg, which today is a world-renowned 5-star luxury hotel belonging to the Victor’s Residenz-Hotels group, houses the restaurant Victor’s Fine Dining by Christian Bau.
The addition of the words “by Christian Bau” to the name of the restaurant may make it appear somewhat cumbersome, however the name of the chef is simply a sign of quality. The highest level of quality. The list of places in which he trained reads like a who’s who of German haute cuisine: they include Hotel Sonne Eintracht in Achern, the Hotel Talmühle in Sasbachwalden and the Le Canard in Offenburg. The cherry on the cake was a five-year spell working as a sous chef for none other than Harald Wohlfahrt at the Schwarzwaldstube.
In 1998, Victor’s Residenz-Hotels offered him the opportunity to manage the restaurant at Schloss Berg. Since then, Christian Bau has been his own boss in the kitchen, decorating his apron with the most prestigious culinary awards. He earned his first Michelin star within a year of taking over the restaurant. In 2005, not only was he named “Chef of the Year”, he was also awarded his third Michelin star, making him the youngest German chef to ever have been awarded this honour.
In spite these many awards and lashings of praise, in 2008, Bau’s culinary path experienced a dramatic change of direction.
The third star was an incredible achievement”, Bau reflected, “however following that, my whole world collapsed around me. We had proved what we were capable of, but I simply wasn’t enjoying it any more
More simple because he has now almost entirely done away with the use of cream and butter during preparation of his dishes. Contemporary, because he opened himself up to using new techniques and modernised the basic construction of the dishes, reducing them to their essential components. Cosmopolitan, because a trip to Japan allowed him to significantly broaden his culinary horizons.
Since then, when creating dishes Christian Bau has continued to use classic dishes as a base, fortifying these with Japanese products and flavours, creating an exciting bridge between European and Asian cuisine, which is reinforced by the complex interplay of contrasting elements, such as sour with salty, crispy with soft and hot with cold. According to Bau:
I wanted to offer a dining experience that would make the guests more sensitive to the flavours. Our dishes may split opinions, but they are accessible to all without being overwhelming
You don’t just have to take his word for it though, as Bau is proving his success in an impressive manner: the simple fact that Christian Bau has retained his three Michelin stars in spite of his radical change in style should be proof enough. However, it is also, of course, evident in his dishes. For example, Bau serves three types of sashimi, each prepared in a different way using hamachi, sockeye salmon and yellowfin tuna, individually one after the other, providing the guest with three unique taste experiences involving raw fish and seafood. Equally stimulating, if not more so, is the combination of scallops and oysters with candied wild kombu, yuzu and umami stock, or the pairing of sea bass and grilled eel with Japanese aubergine, okra and “Kojyu” vinaigrette. A visit to Perl-Nennig is simply not complete without experiencing these excitement-packed dishes.
This is not least ensured by the culinary concept followed by Bau and his wife, Yildiz Bau, who is the restaurant’s service chef.
A visit to Victor’s Fine Dining by Christian Bau should feel personal, sincere and almost like being with family. Service and ambience go hand-in-hand in the restaurant’s kitchen, like a perfectly-staged theatrical performance in which the guests always take centre stage, experiencing a flood of emotions throughout the evening.
This flood will also engulf Salzburg in November 2016, when Christian Bau invites you to a perfectly-staged evening filled with harmonious contradictions during his guest chef appearance at Restaurant Ikarus in Hangar-7.
ServusTV: Culinary Heights at Ikarus on ServusTV
Each month at Salzburg’s two Michelin-starred Restaurant Ikarus, a different top international chef creates the menu. For this globally unique concept, Hangar-7 executive chef Martin Klein visits the cream of the crop, takes a look behind the scenes of haute cuisine, and is let in on some exciting culinary secrets. “Culinary Heights at Ikarus” offers a unique glimpse into the world of high-end cuisine and provides an interesting portrait of each guest chef, their culinary philosophy, and the food culture of their country.