At Margaux, his own restaurant right in the centre of Berlin , Michael Hoffmann makes vegetables the stars of his dishes and uses his expert knowledge of ingredients to create exceptional cuisine.
Since acquiring a garden in 2010, Michael Hoffmann has ramped up his efforts to demonstrate how exciting and multifaceted vegetables can be in high-end gastronomy. This was his passion long before locally produced vegetables came into fashion, and it has made Hoffmann one of the most individual of all German chefs. Hoffmann experiments with different harvesting times and cultivates old, almost forgotten varieties, discovering new ways of preparing them in his kitchen and allowing many traditional flavours to shine in a completely new light. In addition to his pure vegetable menu, Hoffmann also offers a 'normal' menu featuring fascinating meat and fish accents, in which the vegetables are never mere accompaniments but bring democracy to the plate.
Hoffmann works with extreme precision and in a reductive style to create exact flavours. For his aubergine with coriander and Jerusalem artichoke, the aubergine is candied for several weeks then caramelised in olive oil, which produces a kind of dried fruit that unleashes totally new flavours in combination with the smoked Jerusalem artichoke purée, crispy salad stalks and a coriander emulsion. The seasonal vegetable platter, served with an intense vegetable bouillon, has become his signature dish. Cooking all the vegetables individually brings out each of their characters in a wonderful way, allowing their separate flavours to shine through and to combine together to capture the essence of the season.
© Prof. Dr. Ingo Scheuermann