The chef of the year title was awarded at the world’s largest food fair Anuga in Cologne. Swiss competitor Cornelius Speinle from restaurant Drei10 Sinne in Schlattingen and Sven Pietschmann from restaurant Fährhaus in Sylt / Germany finished second and third respectively.

The winner, 32-year-old Stefan Lenz from Hotel Tennerhof in Kitzbühel, is a native of Vorarlberg and receives a prize money of €12,000 and has beaten seven competitors from Germany and Switzerland. “Throughout, Lenz has presented us with the highest standard of aromas and combined them very well. You can tell that he has found his stile and systematically implemented it,” says judge Christopher Wilbrand of the jury’s decision.

His three-course menu featured an appetizer with salmon, purple salsify and hazelnut, a main course with venison, vinegar plum and dandelion and a dessert with forest clover, core oil and cranberry, which all convinced the jury. Chaired by Dieter Müller, the jury consisted of nine judges, among them Thomas Bühner (La Vie, Osnabrück), Oriol Castro (Disfrutar, Barcelona), Sebastian Frank (Horváth, Berlin) and restaurant critic Wolfgang Fassbender. Dieter Müller praised the high level of the finals: “Participants have showed absolute excellence in crafts, aesthetics and diversity. They presented very beautiful plates.” The final decision was extremely tight. Only one point separated the winner from the runner-up, Cornelius Speinle, second chef in restaurant Drei10 Sinne in Schlattingen, Switzerland. Sven Pietschmann, second chef at restaurant Fährhaus in Sylt, Germany, came third.

At the same event, Enrico Christ of Atelier in Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich, was crowned pastry chef of the year. During the exciting finals of the international dessert competition, the 27-year-old beat off the competition from Germany, Austria and Switzerland together with his assistant Josua Ellermann.

The native Thuringian was awarded €3,000. He said: “The title is both honour and obligation for me. I am very proud that I was able to prevail against so many strong candidates,” said Christ.

In the category Freestyle, the pastry chef convinced the jury with a dessert creation made of Thai basil, galangal, lemon grass and peanut and also presented a praline of raspberry, juniper and chocolate. The undisputed highlight was his three-component dessert, according to competition president, Pierre Lingelser: “A sensational performance and an absolute taste sensation. New standards were set for the whole field of patisserie.”

The judges chose David Mahn from two-star restaurant Ammolite in Europapark in Rust for second place. The third place went to Eugen Stichling, Chefpatissier at restaurant Dallmayr in Munich.

© Melanie Bauer Photodesign