“Everything I claim only makes sense if I go out and harvest herbs with my own two hands,” says Michelin-starred chef Dominik Käppeler.
The owner of award-winning German restaurant Showroom spends almost as much time on the autobahn as he does in the kitchen. And when he heads out to collect ingredients, he gets behind the wheel of his versatile V-Class.
Mercedes-Benz spent some time on the road and in the kitchen with Käppeler earlier this year, and you can watch what happened on the MYVAN Youtube channel.
Käppeler’s venue is a must-try for foodies visiting Europe, and the 31-year-old prides himself on the consistent quality of his ever-changing menu. Clearly there’s no burden on his shoulders when it comes to delighting his diners:
“Each guest should have an experience like no other. And maintaining this level should not be laborious. If we had to force it, we would have given up long ago”, he says.
The young chef inherited a daunting legacy when he was handed down the premises by his former boss, celebrity chef and TV personality Andreas Schweiger. But Käppeler hasn’t been afraid to push the boundaries.
“I believe that my greatest strength is seeing nothing as a matter of course and setting my own standards. I do not use phrases like ‘We have always done things that way’.”
Käppeler doesn’t just head off the beaten track when it comes to expectations of what’s on the menu - he clocks up plenty of kms searching for the perfect ingredients for every dish.
And driving his V-Class from Munich to the forests surrounding the resort town of Tegernsee has become a year-round ritual, no matter the weather.
“I am searching for especially fine young spruce tips”, explained Käppeler to the MYVAN team.
Back in the restaurant’s kitchen, Käppeler blanched spruce tips he’d collected in a small silver pot, and prepared one of the evening’s dishes in a heavy stainless steel bowl.
“We strive to surprise our guests anew, every single time”, he says.
With his team working tirelessly around him, and mysterious white smoke hissing through a small hole in the cling film covering the bowl, Käppeler gives off the air of a magician preparing his latest illusion. Culinary wonders, indeed.