Christian Bau : Gourmet table with a style all its own
Just a minute beyond the German border at Remich, Christian Bau has moved beyond classic French cuisine at the three-star Gourmet restaurant at Victor’s Residenz-Hotel Schloss Berg to develop a style all his own.
Three stars at 34
Christian Bau is the first to pay tribute to the celebrated Harald Wohlfahrt, under whom he learned the trade as
a sous-chef at the Schwarzwaldstube. “It’s like when the assistant to a famous football coach takes over a team on his own,” he says. “Having been their right- hand man, it stays with you.”
In 1998, he took on the post of head chef at the Gourmet restaurant at Victor’s Residenz-Hotel Schloss Berg, with his wife taking charge of the dining room. Within six months they had won their first star and a second followed a year later.
“It was all a bit crazy,” Bau says. “I was just 27 years old. Everyone was coming here to nd out our secret. In reality,
we cook with water, just like everyone else.” The supreme accolade of the third star took a bit longer, but not much – in 2005, when Bau was 34.
Life among the stars
He speaks warmly of the camaraderie between members of the three-star club. “There are 109 chefs with three stars in the world, and I must have had at least 60 of them on the phone,” he says. But while notching up stars was never an obsession, Bau recalls the massive impact it had.
“The pressure ratcheted up,” he says. “I could have just stopped, but I decided to evolve instead.” He repeatedly travelled to Asia and brought Japanese touches to his style. “It’s a dangerous game,” warned the Michelin Guide.
But eight years later, he still has the three stars, and what was classic French cuisine in 2005 has become a unique style, the ‘Bau.Stil.’ as his latest book is titled.
The Bau style
Dining at the Baus’ is a salivating experience: you can either choose either the Carte Blanche decided on by the chef or a journey of culinary discovery. The dining room team led by Mrs Bau combines warmth with efficiency, youth with ultra-professionalism.
On the plate, you’ll discover the determination of a chef that doesn’t make concessions: the remarkable
Tom ka Gai that’s completely solid, the eau de mer en perle rehausse an artful salad. But what can you say about compositions such as turbot served in a variety of ways with cauliflower, covered with a fine sliver of ‘hand of Buddha’ that hides an oyster?
If you’ve already Googled ‘hand of Buddha’ to see what it looks like, hurry up and taste it: its lemony flavour lifts this dish to the level of a masterwork – embodying a style that you’ll come to appreciate over a few mouthfuls.
"Three-star restaurants are often far from the big cities. You need to take your time to appreciate them properly."
VICTOR'S RESIDENZ-HOTEL SCHLOSS BERG
Comprising a spa, a swimming pool and three restaurants, Victor’s Hotel Schloss Berg is a top- notch ve-star establishment. Built in 1997, its architecture is borrowed from a Mediterranean villa, perfectly integrated with the castle, whose origins go back to the ninth century. Most of
the rooms look out over the vineyards and the Moselle valley. The perfect way to experience it is to arrive in the early afternoon and
enjoy a massage and the spa, thenhave a rest before taking an aperitif and sitting down to a memorable dinner in the Gourmet restaurant.
Facts & figures
Tables : 10
Seats : 32
Books : 3
Selected wines : 800