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Michael Oettinger is chef at Oettinger's Restaurant in Hotel Hirsch. Chef Michael started his culinary career as an apprentice in the kitchen of his parents' establishment, Hotel Hirsch. He then gained experience in restaurants across the country, among which Burgrestaurant Staufeneck Salach and Hotel Louis C Jacob. In 2005, after developing his culinary skills, Michael took over the management of Oettinger's Restaurant together with his brother Martin. It didn’t take long before his culinary achievements were awarded a coveted Michelin star. We asked the chef some questions in this interview, so you can get to know him better.
Michael, how would you describe your cooking style?
Our cooking style in Oettinger's restaurant is contemporary classic French cuisine that is inspired by products from the region.
What's your favourite dish to make?
I enjoy making wild-caught turbot with beurre blanc, winter truffle, kale, beetroot, and Jerusalem artichoke. This is a dish that doesn't get any better in terms of flavour and consistency. We cook it over and over again every year without any major changes, and it is still very much in demand. The same goes for our bouillabaisse, which we cook classically, but with lots of shellfish and strong fish stock. The bouillabaisse is on the menu all year round and is cooked by me. This is our signature dish and bears our individual touch.
I drive to the market myself every day, where dealers and producers offer their products to me
What is your favourite ingredient to work with?
I enjoy working with spices like coriander seeds, Kreutz caraway, and cardamom. During my time in Hamburg I learned how to create flavour by using the correct dosage of spices. Especially the slightly oriental spices, perfectly dosed and unmixed, such as curry, or raz el hanout, can bring a transparent aroma to a dish.
Who is one of your top suppliers or producers?
One of my top suppliers is the Stuttgart Wangen wholesale market, specifically the Staiger company there. The close proximity enables me to drive to the market myself every day, where dealers and producers offer their products to me. Especially with sensitive seasonal goods such as porcini mushrooms, strawberries or lamb's lettuce, it pays to compare the goods and take the best available produce with you.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your culinary career?
The biggest challenges in my culinary career were events such as the Bambi award ceremony or the Radio 7 Charity Night, with over 500 guests. At the first event, I was allowed to work as a cook under the direction of Rolf Straubinger, while at the second I was able to prepare a course under the direction of Bernd Werner. Both amazing JRE events where the logistics were a masterpiece.
Which gastronomic trend are you excited about the most?
I look forward to the trend in which meat will become a side dish, or rather, “conscious meat consumption”. We can no longer ignore the trend and have to offer more vegetarian dishes in the restaurant. As soon as you take a closer look at it, you quickly notice that vegetables need significantly more cooking skills to impress your guests with their taste.
If you could only eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would that be?
It is of course inconceivable to only eat the same dish in my entire life. Us JREs are far too eager to experiment and enjoy culinary delights. But if that's the way it is, I'll have a good Gaisburger Marsch. This is a traditional Swabian dish with strong broth, root vegetables, spaetzle and meat. Healthy, nutritious and delicious.
What’s one thing in the area that your guests absolutely need to see or do?
Our region is of course characterized by viticulture and cuisine. The Remstal in particular is the gateway to Stuttgart and offers an incredible amount of beauty. Outside of the culinary arts, you should definitely visit the Mercedes Benz and Porsche Museum, as well as the flourishing Baroque in Ludwigsburg. And the wonderful view of Stuttgart from the Red Mountain, where the grave chapel of Queen Katharina is quite enchanting.
Thank you, Michael.
Book your table at Oettinger's Restaurant
Taste chef Michael Oettinger’s French cuisine for yourself at Oettinger's Restaurant in Fellbach-Schmiden, Germany. You can make your dinner reservation through our website – it’s quick and easy.