Tag Archives: michelin 3*

La Vie

People don’t talk anymore. We text. We email. We double-tap to like. We make Facebook a transitive verb.

What a pleasure, then, to sink into the passenger side of this all-black Mercedes SUV and have a conversation with Thomas Bühner. This is not, I should point out, an interview. He’s the chef of Michelin three-starred La Vie and I’m just some guy he has invited to eat there. He’s fifty years old and I’m not yet thirty. He drives.

I pretend I’m just excited and grateful to be here, but I shift about in my seat, anxiously. My legs stop shaking but my teeth start chattering when I open the door. We’ve arrived at the kitchen garden in Bad Essen, today a 4,000 m² grid of snow, ice and twigs. This is nature’s graveyard shift — winter in the upper latitudes of Germany. Continue reading

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De Librije

Consider this a postcard from a town whose name I can’t pronounce. Fifty shades of grey is the weather here, not just an idea book for days like this. And I’ve translated so many words on my phone that I risk exceeding my roaming data plan on the vowels alone.

Welkom in Nederland. I’m in Zwolle.

I arrived yesterday ’round midnight, the only one who got off the train at this station. The only one walking these cold, foggy streets at that hour. Now it’s lunch time and I’m biting my tongue because I want to make a joke about purple drank, but nobody in this country thinks I am funny. So I’ll just sip this fermented cabbage juice in silence. It’s the first serving at a restaurant called De Librije. Continue reading

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The Fat Duck

The last time I ate out of necessity was in 1985. I was six months old at the time, breast-feeding, and as yet unable to reach the refrigerator door handle. I eat for pleasure now, which is to say I eat incessantly. Hell, I’m having trouble typing this sentence because I’m eating right now.

It certainly wasn’t out of necessity that I went to the Fat Duck. For a reasonable person, the prior day’s feasting might’ve warranted an extended fast. But for me, fun trumps reason. And fun is exactly what I found in Chef Heston Blumenthal’s tasting menu… which may or may not have changed since 1985. (As you’ll recall, I was six months old at the time.) Continue reading

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