Le Pavillon at Hotel Dollenberg: Martin Herrmann – classic produce-centred cuisine with contemporary accents

At Le Pavillon gourmet restaurant in Bad Peterstal at the foot of the Black Forest, Martin Herrmann has steadily but surely established himself among Germany's chefs with two Michelin stars.

Martin Herrmann's development since training at Hotel Dollenberg almost 30 years ago is the all the more remarkable because he was not taught by any famous chefs. Instead he has worked his way up from his solid, classic, technique-oriented foundations, taking inspiration mainly from French haute cuisine and neighbouring Alsace. Herrmann's cooking is all about first-class produce, which he shows to best advantage without overly complex accompaniments. In the last two years, Herrmann has gradually reinvented himself – by concentrating on the absolutely essential ingredients and using interesting accents to complement the flavour combinations of his dishes. Now every plate at Le Pavillon is a masterpiece of contemporary, finely nuanced classic cuisine that will thrill first-timers and experienced gastronomes alike.

Herrmann's gently poached lobster with vanilla, calf's head and a little lemon jelly, spaciously arranged on the plate, elicits a delightful sweet-sour dialogue accentuated by the vanilla butter draped sparingly over the lobster, with the herb salad on the earthy calf's head adding taste and texture. Hermann generally cooks without heavy, butter-based sauces, in order to fully bring out the individual character of the ingredients. An equally innovative yet familiar dish is his saddle of venison with a hearty Jerusalem artichoke purée, sangria jelly and bread dumpling, whose only accompaniment is a very natural venison jus. Herrmann is a master of paring down for maximum flavour and adding intriguing accents.

© Prof. Dr. Ingo Scheuermann

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