German restaurants win record Michelin stars

German restaurants win record Michelin stars
Germany's newest three-star food temple. Photo: DPA
A record 11 German restaurants have received three-star Michelin ratings this year, with the 2014 gourmets guide including 274 eateries across the country.

"German cuisine is so unbelievably varied, one cannot put it into a pigeon hole. That's its great advantage," said editor of the guide, Ralf Flinkenflügel.

Christian Jürgens is new to the top ranks of those with three stars after seeing his restaurant Überfahrt in Rottach-Egern, Bavaria, given an extra one.

His menu includes beef from Pinzgauer cattle, an Austrian breed, and a "potato box" filled with cubed potatoes and a truffle salad. His is the first Bavarian restaurant to get three stars – now seven of Germany's 16 states have such decorated places for dinner.

The cliché of Michelin star restaurants being elite, expensive and not even filling no longer fits, said Flinkenflügel. "There are more, and more small restaurants which are decorated with a star and offer brilliant cuisine at brilliant value for money," he said.

You don't even have to dress to the nines to go, he said. "People simply want to eat well in a relaxed atmosphere."

The trend over the last few years for regional products continues, and has been joined by vegetarian food.

"Chefs do not need meat to get a star," said Finkenflügel, although he admitted Germany did not have a starred vegetarian restaurant. There is one in Milan, Italy.

Berlin is also continuing its transformation into a culinary hotspot within Europe, said Flinkenflügel. It now has five two-star restaurants and another nine with one star. "What Berlin has managed in the last 20 years is simply incredible," he said.

Other eastern regions have also done very well, with three new stars being awarded to restaurants on the Baltic coast, and another being handed out to a restaurant in Thuringia.

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