Jacobs Restaurant in Hamburg: Thomas Martin bridges classic and contemporary

When Thomas Martin, chef de cuisine at Louis C. Jacob on the Elbchaussee in Hamburg , was awarded his second Michelin star for Jacobs Restaurant in November 2011, it was reward and recognition for his unswerving focus on quality.

Since the start of the year, Jacobs Restaurant has been opening on five days rather than seven, and chef de cuisine Thomas Martin has used this extra time to work intensively on his dishes, bridging classic and contemporary with ever greater accomplishment. He has also introduced some wonderfully contemporary vegetarian compositions. The two facets of Martin's cuisine are basically two interpretations of the same intelligent, produce-centred approach to cooking. Whereas the star of his classic dishes is the main ingredient, his contemporary cuisine focuses on the overall effect, although both styles share his insistence on the highest quality and the ultimate intensity of flavour. This transforms his balancing act into a seamlessly functioning duality which also adds variety to his menus.

In his classic menus, Martin is able to indulge his passion for braised dishes and intense sauces, which are the foundations for his harmonious culinary compositions. These have nothing opulent or old-fashioned about them; any excess butter and heavy, filling extras have been removed. Creations such as confit of organic Irish salmon with caviar d'Aquitane and riesling beurre blanc are almost purist in approach and come straight to the point. One of his exciting contemporary dishes is Vierlanden pumpkin in various textures, brilliantly served with a curry cream and ginger jelly, which interjects a fabulous counterpoint in the declination of the sweetness.

© Prof. Dr. Ingo Scheuermann

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