Flying high

10 Aug 2014
2 min read
Congratulations to three-Michelin-starred restaurant Amador in Mannheim, Germany, which is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. FOUR catches up with Chef de Cuisine Juan Amador.

RestaurantAmadoris celebrating its 10th anniversary – please tell us about the time when you opened it.

We opened restaurant Amador in August 2004 in an old timbered house in Langen. And in 2011 we moved here, to Mannheim. Before that the building was just a run-down doll factory with various halls. We then restored it and converted it into a restaurant. In this regard the restaurant has changed completely. The difference in the look and appearance of the timbered old town house and the modern factory site in the middle of an industrial area – it cannot be more different.

How has your cuisine changed over the years?

I think it’s grown up. We started with molecular gastronomy. Of course we still utilise the latest techniques but have generally become more mature. It’s not all about effects anymore but about the taste of the products. And in 10 years you also change personally, and so the cooking style becomes more grown-up as well.

Who did you welcome in your restaurant in the last 10 years?

We had many prominent people from the art scene, the movie business, politics and all walks of life.

What would you say was the highlight in the last 10 years?

Without a doubt the highlight was in November 2007 when we got the third Michelin star. Another highlight, which we didn’t expect, was when we closed the restaurant in 2011 and moved location. Within two months of opening in Mannheim we made it from zero to three stars in the new Michelin Guide. These were the two most important moments in the last 10 years.

You’ve had a lot of talented young chefs in your kitchen, some of them have gone on to be Michelin-starred themselves – how does that make you feel?

Really good. It shows you that what you teach bears fruits. Of course, every one of them is doing their own thing and is developing. Every now and again you see that Amador handwriting, but they all have found their own style or have just gone on their way to find it for themselves, and that’s great. To leave your mark on gastronomy feels good and it makes me proud that the guys are doing such a great job. Look at Daniel Achilles, who has two stars, Mark Rennhack, also with two stars, or Caroline Baum with one star. Those three have been with me for quite a while. Adding all of them up, it’s about 20 stars!

What are the next 10 years going to have in store for you?

We’re on the road to Asia and have plans for Bangkok and Hong Kong, which we’ll reveal early or in the middle of next year. Then we’ll try our luck in the Asian market.