Guest Chef September 2021
It takes perseverance, perfectionism, high quality standards and even more skill and talent to earn the status of a legend. Hans Haas, whose name is inseparably linked with the acclaimed Tantris in Munich, has managed to do just that. He is one of the culinary icons of the present day and only just recently ended his work there after three decades.
Everything started in the picturesque Wildschönau valley in the midst of the Kitzbühel Alps. In his hometown of Oberau, Hans Haas completed an apprenticeship as cook at the Kellerwirt. Years as travelling journeyman followed, taking him to the Hotel Bachmaier on Lake Tegernsee, to the Erbprinz restaurant in Ettlingen and finally to France to Paul Haeberlin‘s legendary 3-star restaurant Auberge de l’Ill. At the age of 25, he started as sous chef at Eckart Witzigmann’s equally triple-starred restaurant Aubergine in Munich. Of all the chefs he worked with, Hans Haas considers Paul Haeberlin and Chef of the Century Eckart Witzigmann his most important mentors. More than that, over the years Witzigmann became a fatherly friend and finally also Haas’ best man. In 1987, the Tyrolean chef competed in the Bocuse d‘Or, the unofficial cooking world championship for up-and-coming chefs, and won 3rd place. In the same year, he moved to Frankfurt am Main and became head chef at the Brückenkeller restaurant. In 1991, it was time to return to Munich, this time to take over the position of chef de cuisine at Tantris, an institution – if not the cradle – of German gourmet cuisine. Eckart Witzigmann and Heinz Winkler – the footsteps that Hans Haas followed when he entered the kitchen at Tantris seemed oversized. And yet, the exceptional talent succeeded in living up to them. Even more, he forged his very own path and thus made his mark on the gourmet temple’s kitchen style. Already in his first year at Tantris, the restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars, which Hans Haas managed to defend throughout his career. In 1995, Gault Millau named him Chef of the Year. In 2006, Hans Haas enlisted the help of his compatriot Sigi Schelling as sous chef. The two have been working side by side as a congenial team for many years. With the retirement of her chef de cuisine, the Vorarlberg native will soon be taking off with her own restaurant in the Werneckhof in Munich. Hans Haas expects to hear great things from her in the future.
At Tantris – the epicentre of German high cuisine – many signature dishes have been created over the years, such as leek puree with caviar and brown butter or ravioli of woolly pig. Hans Haas‘ cuisine is based on craftsmanship and straightforwardness in pursuit of perfection. The “master of simplicity”, who grew up on a Tyrolean farm, is not one for showmanship and gimmickry. With his love for detail and the product, he also shaped the training of tomorrow’s chefs over many years. Long before “nose-to-tail” and regional cuisine became trends, the mindful handling of food and knowledge of its origins had already been a matter of course for Hans Haas. Only recently, Gault Millau as well as the magazines Der Feinschmecker and Rolling Pin honoured Hans Haas with Lifetime Achievement Awards. Furthermore, he received the Chef Mentor Award from the Michelin Guide and the Swiss watch manufacturer Blancpain in recognition of his services to the next generation of chefs. For three decades, Hans Haas “conducted” his ensemble at Munich’s Tantris. Due to corona, the final act had to be a rather quiet one. It is all the more gratifying that the kitchen virtuoso will return to the culinary stage in June 2021 to give an encore of his skills at Restaurant Ikarus – once again supported by Sigi Schelling. As with all Ikarus guest appearances, the guest chefs will cook directly on site with the Ikarus kitchen brigade for the first few days of the month. After that, they’ll hand over to the accomplished Ikarus team led by executive chef Martin Klein. Look forward to a composition full of flavours, passion and creativity.
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.