Restaurant Villa Rothschild in Königstein: Christoph Rainer is an unfettered virtuoso at the top in his region

Christoph Rainer, the young head chef at Hotel Villa Rothschild Kempinski, favours contemporary classic cuisine with modern touches and has rapidly cooked his way to the top in the Rhine-Main region.

The gourmet restaurant in this former Rothschild family residence opened in April 2007, and Christoph Rainer was at a high level when he arrived, but since then he has climbed steadily higher. His cuisine is classic French through and through, but it was not long before he discovered how to add his own accents. In the early days, his mediterranean flavour nuances were distinctly more rustic, but they have become more targeted and more subtle, especially in the last two years. Rainer has achieved this by elaborating the different elements more carefully and by placing them in an even more harmonious context. His menus, which now flow more homogeneously, are impressive illustrations of the power that contemporary cuisine has to enthral and surprise.

One glorious triumph is Rainer's goose liver with apple and coriander, which seems much leaner and lighter than traditional goose liver dishes, owing to a complex interplay between sweetness and acidity, and the vegetability of the coriander, without forfeiting any intensity of taste. His Breton sea bass as a crispy sandwich with artichokes and pata negra also demonstrates Rainer's well-judged flavour combinations. He wraps the fish in thin focaccia slices and creates a wonderfully earthy/smoky duality that is an excellent match for the creamy artichoke à la nage and is rounded off with a little sweet paprika. Other exquisite creations include his saddle of lamb cooked in spiced milk with cold tzatziki, black garlic and aubergine , and his unusual dessert of fromage blanc, iced kefir and hibiscus.

© Prof. Dr. Ingo Scheuermann

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