Voted by his countrymen as Germany's best cook, Joachim Wissler has been self-sufficient throughout his years in the industry, creating his own distinct sense of style and delivering food that has a culinary story and philosophy.
After eight years cooking, he is passing on his knowledge through a new cookbook and it won’t be long before this book becomes a milestone in German cuisine history.
Wissler has been on a culinary adventure throughout his career, he uses a wide-range of techniques to contrast flavours, textures and temperatures. Germany's best cook really does stand out from the pack and, it is not only his countrymen who are noticing, his restaurant Vendôme, located at Bergisch Gladbach, was awarded with three Michelin stars, 19.5 points in the Gault Millau, five Fs in the Feinschmecker ranking as well as five Aral cooking spoons.
Born on January 13, 1963, in Nürtingen (near Stuttgart) and grew up in the Swabian Alps. Today he lives in Cologne with his wife and his son. Wissler successfully passed his professional training at the famous “Traube Tonbach”. After several professional experiences in Baden he became chef de cuisine at the Marcobrunn restaurant in Schloss Reinhartshasuen in the Rheingau in 1991. Awarded with his first Michelin-Star as Chef de Cuisine at Schloss Reinhartshausen (Erbach / Rheingau) in 1995 and recieved his second in quick succession.
After Thomas Althoff opened the Grand Hotel Schloss Bensberg he managed to engage Wissler as chef de cuisine of the gourmet restaurant Vendôme in 2000. The restaurant Vendôme, near Cologne, is arguably one of the best gourmet restaurants in Germany. Visitors enjoy gourmet cuisine by the best representative of so-called "New German Cuisine". Joachim Wissler serves a blend of classical cuisine, creativity and modernity.The restaurant is ranked 21st in the "San Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants" list, and No. 1 in the country.
It is his love for the product and for pure flavour, as well as his infinity for refined compositions yet without frills, that make Joachim Wissler one of Germany’s best chefs. His individual style of cooking combines provocative, modern and creative elements, whereby he’s picking up components of molecular cuisine to accent his creations. Joachim Wissler is considered to be one of the shaping personalities that are defining the so called trend of the “New German School”, saying that almost forgotten regional products and dishes are experiencing a modern rebirth.
Local products are gracing his menu, which includes pigs’ feet, mouth and calf’s head, yet all in delicate interpretations. His modern molecular techniques bring these traditional products to life and offer them new glory.
In the January edition of the Capital-Gourmet-Kompass Joachim Wissler holds the top position among “Germany’s best 100 Restaurants”. Furthermore the gourmet restaurant “Vendôme” is on rank 22 in the San Pellegrino Ranking of the World’s 50 Best restaurants.
When asked why he became a chef Wissler comments “this question I am asked again and again. For the answer, I do not need many words. I became a cook because I'm in the restaurant my parents helped a lot and noticed this: This is me. Here I am sent to. It was a conscious decision that I made early on. The years of apprenticeship in the Black Forest were then a hard test, from day one. As a young man I had no idea what I was getting there. In the end, but again, the feeling prevailed: Yes, I've learned a lot. Yes, that makes me happy. This is the right profession for me. This assessment has not changed anything. I've chosen the best profession for me. To be what I am, I needed including hard work, discipline and perseverance. That alone would not be enough. There were also the luck and people who gave me their trust.“
The hotel at a glance: The 5-star Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg at the gates of Cologne has 84 spacious rooms
and 36 suites. All rooms are offering luxury and comfort of the highest standard, including exquisite marble bathrooms, elegant interiors and discreet integration of modern technology. Whether meetings, seminars, caterings or events: the 9 Banqueting Rooms as well as an exclusive 385 square meters Ballroom offer a distinct location and setting for any event. The 1.000 square meters spa area offers a generous relaxation area with steam-bars saunas and a swimming pool as well as a fitness centre and a brought variety of relaxing beauty and body treatments.
Wissler’s culinary universe has expanded at an exceptional speed in the last few years. “JW” will present the current state of his breath-taking, on-going developments. These developments are influenced greatly by Wissler’s incredible imaginativeness as well as his technical mastery, and always follow one specific rule of thumb: to concentrate on the essential.
In his book you will find nearly 120 dishes - 120 precisely harmonized little culinary wonders. As every one of these dishes consists of several different components, the amount of individual recipes comes close to 500. All are to find on a dynamic webpage with a personal code.
The dishes are arranged into five large menus. Four of them are based on the four seasons. One of them relates to the “new classics” of the Vendôme kitchen.
An unusual aspect of the book is the confident openness with which Wissler describes even the smallest detail of the often very complicated creative process. This is quite possibly the first time that one of the best cooks in the world has given his audience such detailed insight into what really goes on in his kitchen. The respective and at the same time novel, unconventional optical appeal is underlined be images that did not originate in the studio of an established photographer. They were in fact taken by Erik Chmil.
“JW” is a book that will surely be of exceptional use to both professional cooks as well as experienced amateurs. And of equally extraordinary aesthetic value for friends of sophisticated, creative food photography. “JW" is a book that should not be missing in any professional kitchen or cookery bookcase.
- 1980 - 1983 training at Kurhotel Traube Tonbach, Baiersbronn
- September 1983 successful completion of intermediate exam
- Winter 1983 -1984 Commis de cuisine at the Weisse Rössle, Hinterzarten
- 1984 - 1988 worked in various hotels in the resort town of Baden-Baden
- February 1988 successful completion of chef master exam with distinction, Baden-Baden
- 1988 Brenner's Parkhotel, final station in Baden region
- 1991-1999 Chef at Marcobrunn Restaurant, Schloss Reinhartshausen in Erbach, Rheingau
- 1993 1st chef’s cap in the Varta Guide
- 1994 “League Climber of the Year” – Der Feinschmecker
- 1995 1st star in the Guide Michelin
- 1996 2nd star in the Guide Michelin 3 chef’s caps / 17 points in the Gault Millau Germany
- 1997 2nd chef’s cap in the Varta Guide
- Restaurant Vendôme – opened in February 2000:
- 2000: began work as chef at the gourmet restaurant Vendôme in the newly-opened Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg, an Althoff Hotel
- 2001 1st star in the Guide Michelin “Restaurant of the year“– Der Feinschmecker 18 points in the Gault Millau
- 2002 “2003 Cook of the Year” and top rating in the Gault Millau (19 points)
- 2003 2nd star in the Guide Michelin
- 2004 3rd star in the Guide Michelin
- 2005 “2005 Cook of the Year” – Der Feinschmecker
- 2007 top rating with 19,5 points in the Gault Millau
- 2008 rank 34 of the world's 50 Best Restaurants and awarded with the “Highest New Entry” (best german ranking)
- 2009 rank 25 of the world's 50 Best Restaurants
Find out more about Joachim Wissler here.