"When I first visited the Ketschauer Hof, my jaw just dropped." Daniel Schimkowitsch
The Rhine-Neckar region has blossomed into a metropolis for food connoisseurs. This is due in part to Michelin-starred chefs such as Daniel Schimkowitsch (30). A direct import from Munich, he has been tantalising guests at the gourmet L.A. Jordan restaurant at the Ketschauer Hof hotel in Deidesheim since 2014. The Michelin-starred chef, named “Newcomer of the Year” in 2010, is the restaurant’s head chef. “Round every corner, you can find the typical Palatinate pig’s stomach with sauerkraut - and it’s always very good. So I don’t want to do the same thing.” His cuisine is more classic/modern with an international flavour and no gimmicks.
He believes it’s important to be able to produce not just award-winning cuisine but also a great goulash. Schimkowitsch likes to amaze his guests, but what’s most important is that they enjoy the food and are completely satisfied, with both the cuisine and the service.
“When I first visited the Ketschauer Hof, my jaw just dropped”, says the star chef. And with good reason: the mansion dating back to 1770, situated on the Bassermann-Jordan wine estate in the heart of Deidesheim, is a real gem. The buildings are a testament to its rich history, with an unmistakable blend of classic elegance and a modern, timeless touch. The spacious inner courtyard is a flowering oasis of green and pink.
As Schimkowitsch’s grandmother lived in the region, he often visited with his parents. Today, he too feels at home here, in the idyllic Forst an der Weinstraße, a village with a population of just 800. The view over the vineyards, the Palatinate Forest on his doorstep, and the tractors remind him of his Bavarian homeland.
As a head chef, an 18-hour day is not unusual for him, so the “leisure time factor” is crucial. He particularly enjoys the tranquillity of the countryside and can really relax here on his occasional days off. Now and again, he also finds time for a cycle ride along the Wine Road. The coming of spring breathes new life into the wine-growing villages. Almost every weekend another festival takes place along the Wine Road - attracting connoisseurs who roam from stand to stand with a glass in their hand.
The chef welcomes the noticeable generation change in the Palatinate’s wine-making culture, and maintains contact, publicly and privately, with young producers. With its cosmopolitan, youthful mentality and the wide range of activities for young and old, the Palatinate has become a leisure capital and Daniel Schimkowitsch’s new “home base”; he is here to stay.