Culinary delights in NRW
Only the best
There are stars twinkling over NRW. With 47 outstanding top restaurants alone, including the Vendôme at Schloss Bensberg, which is even one of the 'World’s 50 Best Restaurants’, NRW is an excellent place to be for epicureans.
The cuisine in NRW is as varied and changing as the people who live here. Whether it's a ‘currywurst’ sausage or carpaccio, a stew or breast of duck, the top restaurants and culinary ambassadors in NRW place particular value on fresh, high-quality products from the local region, which they use to produce new, modern creations with love and passion. Their motto is: global cuisine, fully regional.
Haus Stemberg in Velbert
In the family-run ‘Hause Stemberg’ restaurant in Velbert, the traditional Rhenish dish ‘Himmel un Äd’, or ‘Heaven and Earth’, is on the menu. So does this mean mashed potatoes with apple sauce and blood sausage? ‘Yes, in principle’ explains Sascha Stemberg with a grin, ‘but of course, we’ve refined it a bit.’ The chef, who in 2017 was presented with the Gault&Millau newcomer of the year award, likes to be inspired by the traditional dishes of his home region. The popular name for the restaurant in the Bergisches Land region is ‘Two cuisines from one stove’. Sascha Stemberg, who is the fifth generation in the family to run the restaurant, feels just as bound to honour the tradition of his forefathers as he does to offer modern, cosmopolitan cuisine. www.haus-stemberg.de
Incidentally, when it comes to home regions, the best chefs in NRW - like Sascha Stemberg - are often to be found at the stove away from the major cities. Joachim Wissler, for example, the only chef in NRW who has been awarded three stars, attracts gourmets from all over NRW to the small town of Bergisch-Gladbach, between Cologne and Leverkusen. At Schloss Bensberg, a former hunting lodge built in the 18th century, he conjures up refined variations of classic French cuisine. Imaginative and no frills.
Always the best, and wherever possible from the local region
Ulrich Heldmann has a very straightforward concept for the cuisine in his Restaurant Concordia in Remscheid: always the best, and wherever possible from the local region. For his fresh, aroma-rich dishes, he gathers wild herbs in the Bergisches Land region, wanders through local markets and is always searching for high-quality, regional products to use in his perfectly composed dishes. For him, a visit to a restaurant is like a visit to a theatre: you enter and enjoy the experience with all your senses. www.heldmanns-restaurant.de
Urban flair in a modern environment in Düsseldorf
Meanwhile, guests at Berens am Kai in the Düsseldorf Medienhafen media port district enjoy urban flair in a modern environment. When the Michelin-starred chef Holger Berens opened his restaurant, ‘there was not much more here than cranes and trendy galleries’. Today, the Medienhafen is a chic, international, creative district, characterised by its old buildings and modern architecture, including structures by Frank O. Gehry and David Chipperfield. At Berens am Kai, the fashionable guests meet for a small snack during their lunch break, or for an expansive gourmet menu in the evening, with lobster ragout, steamed turbot or regional Hunsrück venison. And naturally, there’s also a good glass of wine to go with the meal, selected from no fewer than 600 options. www.berensamkai.de
Schloss Hugenpoet in Essen
The 5-star superior Schlosshotel is centrally located in the Ruhr region, but in green surroundings. As well as 36 individually furnished rooms and suites, this 17th century water palace has two restaurants and plenty to enjoy. The LAURUSHAUS gourmet restaurant, which was not opened in the Schlosshotel until 2016, is one of the most recent Michelin-starred restaurants in NRW. Here, as well as in the HUGENpöttchen restaurant, chef Erika Bergheim has maintained the high culinary reputation of the Hugenpoet for the last 20 years. www.hugenpoet.de