RÜSSELs Landhaus St. Urban in Naurath: Harald Rüssel is the master of high-end, authentic, country-house cuisine

More than almost any other German chef, Harald Rüssel has made regionality his maxim and developed his own interpretation of 'nouvelle German cuisine'.

Ruth and Harald Rüssel have been at Landhaus St. Urban in a quiet side valley of the Middle Moselle for 20 years. At the outset, Harald Rüssel realised that the produce from local farmers, butchers, bakers and anglers was an undiscovered treasure trove, and over the years he built up partnerships to support them. Rüssel is a rare example of a chef serving exclusively regional or German food, even in his gourmet restaurant, except for the sea fish which comes from France. Both classic and modern techniques are employed in transforming these precious ingredients into light, contemporary, transparent creations. Rüssel uses his plates to represent the idea of 'terroir', which is deeply rooted in his overall philosophy and reflected in his use of regional materials in the Landhaus decor.

With his gently poached brook trout with smashed sweet potato, chive broth and pig's chin , a tantalising contrast arises from the rusticality of the chive broth in combination with the wonderful salmony flavours of the trout. Nothing could be more fitting for the region, with the pig's chin adding to the culinary complexity. Rüssel's game specialities are locally hunted, for instance his splendid small wild boar with preserved pumpkin, beetroot and lamb's lettuce, or saddle of venison served with a small dumpling with hock ragout, hock jus with clove and a hint of lemon, which cries out for a German red wine. Rüssel has succeeded in putting German regional cuisine on the podium. This is what Germany tastes like right at the very top!

© Prof. Dr. Ingo Scheuermann

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