In conversation: Fabrice Kieffer / Photo: Peter Straub - GAS
Fabrice Kieffer, head of the famous house "Les Deux" and the wine house "Neuner" in Munich, is today a guest at Daniela Meindl's home. As friends and admirers of him and his houses, we, the Meindls, feel a great deal of appreciation for what has been built up here in the heart of Munich by Fabrice and his wife Kathrin. Cooking, excellent food and special wines are their and our passion. Unique service and excellent food are a passion for Fabrice.He has been celebrating being the perfect host and chef in his establishments almost daily for the past 10 years. His resume leads through the top gastronomy in Europe. With this knowledge he opened his first own restaurant in the heart of Munich 10 years ago.
Markus: Brasserie and Restaurant. A promising name for one of the best restaurants in Germany. What will you cook together today?
Fabrice: Today we wanted to let spring awaken. As an appetizer, we came up with a classic “times different”. Ice sea shrimp in cocktail sauce on brioche with heart salad, celery, lemon zest and char caviar.
For an intermediate course, a pickled Labe Rouge salmon with ayran broth, herb oil, avocado cream and a crumble of peanut wasabi. For the main course, we have ArgentineRed Sea Shrimp on cauliflower mousseline and florets, fresh peas and quinoa with shellfish sauce.Et voilà, bon appétit!
Markus: Your businesses and your employees are family to you. Your wife Kathrin and you both passionately lead your 60 employees together. You are team players and role models. How do you reconcile this challenge with your family life?
Fabrice: Since we also act and function with each other on a daily basis in both companies, we also spenda lot of time together. However, we also try to take time off, especially at the weekends.Fortunately, because of our employees, whom we can rely on, we manage to do this on a regular basis,to enjoy our family life with our son Mathieu.
Markus: As a former professional soccer player, you are used to sprinting and endurance. What is important to you in your businesses?
Fabrice: You hit the nail on the head with “endurance”. In both companies, consistently high quality, complemented by meticulousnesssupplemented by meticulousness is enormously important to me. I try to master these challenges with a lot of passion,passion and esprit.
Markus: You are an extreme aesthete – everything has to be perfect. What does the word “perfect” mean to you?– The perfect moment, the perfect dish, the perfect setup? And what do your gastronomic awards mean to you.
Fabrice: The word “perfect” is very difficult to define for me. Because every person also feels, thinks, smells, tastes and much more differently. Personally, I try to find a perfect balance in order to respond to the individualwishes and needs of each guest.Of course I am happy about every award I receive, because it is also a reward for my work and development.of my work and development. Not only for mepersonally, but also for the various hotels – in which I have been allowed or allowed to work – and their employees.
Nevertheless, for me, an award is never the quintessence of my motivation to pursue this wonderfulprofession for over three decades now.
Markus: Employees are a great challenge: promoting, challenging and leading. How do you manage to motivate your employees on a daily basis?
Fabrice: The topic of employees is a challenge that I take on every day and again and again. I think it’s important to set a good example. That meansfor me own discipline, communication, appreciation, acting in a solution-oriented way, creating a positive environment and ultimately exemplifying the spirit and enthusiasm for the job as a boss myself.
Markus: What is the perfect dish for you, your favorite dish?
Fabrice: The basic prerequisite and therefore the be-all and end-all for a perfect dish is the quality of the products used.of the products used, complemented by the skill of theof the Chef de Cuisine. For me, favorite dishes are alwaysthe aromas and flavors of French-Alsatian cuisine. One of my favorite dishes is Bouchée à la Reine, translated Queen’s Pâté, which always evokes a feeling of home and thoughts of those feel-good dishes from my own childhood.
Markus: Which restaurant do you definitely still want to visit and indulge in in 2023?Fabrice: I always enjoy visiting colleagues and friends in their places of work.That’s why I have not just one, but several restaurants in Germany and abroad on my to-do list for 2023.on my to-do list.
Markus: Sustainability is the motto of the future. How do you implement this challenge for yourself and your houses?
Fabrice: We also place great emphasis on sustainability in the kitchen and in the wine cellar.in the kitchen and in the wine cellar. Les Deux is and remains a French restaurant.restaurant, where French cuisine and its products are of course also very important. Wherever we can, we rely on certified organic and above all seasonal products from the region as well as the completeprocessing of all foodstuffs. The situation is different at WeinhausNeuner. Here, thanks to the Bavarian-Alsatian kitchen orientation, it is much easier to fall back on almost exclusively local producers.
Markus: You come from a long-established family of winegrowers in the Elsas region. Your parents and family have been making exquisite wines there for generations.Do you have a longing for the beautiful Elsas and which childhood memories of your homeland accompany you and/or have shaped you?shaped you?
Fabrice: I don’t really have any longing. After so many years inGermany after so many years and Munich has become my second home, also thanks to my family.home. Through my family’s winery, I gained access to wine and food at a very early age.to the culture of wine and food at a very early age, which has been an absolutefor my career.
Markus: After 10 years as an award-winning restaurateur, you have arrived inarrived in Munich. Highly esteemed by the communityyou operate several establishments in the city center. Are there any further plans for your future?
Fabrice: Bien sûr, I still have some plans for the future that I would like to realize in the next few years. The ideas and the drive are definitely there, plus I’d get bored otherwise.
Markus: Flexible working – that has always existed in the restaurant business.But simply going home when guests are still sitting at the table,that’s still not possible today. What advice do you have for young people(or what do you wish for?)
Fabrice: I am of the opinion that the upscale gastronomy is one of the most beautifulmost beautiful, exciting and multifaceted professions of all. In order to continue to inspire the youth of today for the gastronomy, it is above all important to bring them closer to the beautiful aspects of this profession. You get to meet new people every day, work with high-quality products, live out your creativity in the kitchen and act as host and sommelier.creativity in the kitchen and, as a host and sommelier, prepare an unforgettable experience for your guests in a beautiful atmosphere. For this it is however also necessary that the catering trade and its ambassadors, among them also I count myself, around appropriate solutions strive, in order the reputation of our Metiersin terms of family-friendliness and a corresponding work-life balance.
Markus: And because it’s so nice right now and we’ve had such a wonderful dinnerwe’re just going to sit around a bit longer today and enjoy the afternoonthe afternoon with a good glass of wine.