Lerbach gourmet restaurant in Bergisch-Gladbach: Nils Henkel perfects his Pure Nature cooking philosophy

At Schlosshotel Lerbach, head chef Nils Henkel demonstrates his very individual interpretation of intelligent, produce-centred cuisine just as nature intended.

Following the renovation of Lerbach gourmet restaurant, Nils Henkel is implementing his Pure Nature concept with even greater gusto and enthusiasm than last year, exploring the relationships and interactions between flavours, textures and temperatures with a most meticulous approach and his encyclopedic knowledge of ingredients. This enables him to create produce-oriented dishes that reveal multifaceted layers of intense flavours in every mouthful. Henkel's 'pure vegetable' menu is almost unrivalled in Germany and around the world – Michael Hoffmann (Margaux, Berlin) and Thomas Kellermann (Kastell, Wernsberg) are the only other German chefs producing vegetarian cuisine to a similarly high standard.

In his lightly smoked arctic char with elderberry caper vinaigrette, cress purée and char caviar , Henkel presents a purist dish in which the sensational succulence of the Icelandic arctic char is drawn out by a background hint of smokiness. The fish is flanked by an intriguing sour-sweet interplay and the herby cress purée which gives the dish substance and depth of flavour without being heavy, whilst balance is provided by the vinaigrette with tart, crisp green apple subtly interwoven. Henkel's baked potato – chanterelles, chickweed, sweetcorn, pumpernickel jus is a wonderfully complex vegetarian main course whose success is largely due to its highly orchestrated, earthy flavour combinations.

© Prof. Dr. Ingo Scheuermann

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