As a Foodie I'm very proud and happy to lead and develop the World Gourmet Society further
United Kingdom, Europe
I first discovered my passion for good food through travelling. I love discovering new food from countries around the world – although, coming from Germany, my national cuisine does still hold a place in my heart! I love to eat venison with fresh mushrooms in Bavaria or slow cooked “Kassler” – a delicatessen from middle Germany.
My passion for good food and dining began when I was in Zurich for the first time and I was impressed by the level of service the restaurants offered. I will never forget how the owner of a good restaurant we stepped into in Switzerland suggested that as we weren’t locals we should cross the street to go to another restaurant because they just had freshly delivered fish, try that first and then come to his restaurant tomorrow, which, of course, we did! By the time we stepped into the other restaurant he had already called the owner of the other restaurant who welcomed us by describing the fish on offer and offering us his best table. I had never experienced such a customer centred approach and I had one of the best dining experiences of my life.
So, what does Gourmet mean to me?
In my opinion, it comes to down the atmosphere, the service, the food and the people.
I love places that have a really unique atmosphere. For example, a while ago I discovered a very small side street in Beijing that had a number of very old Japanese restaurants. It was the type of street I would never have walked down myself if my Chinese colleague hadn’t taken me there. Yet, the restaurant we went to offered traditional Japanese cooking as it was served 100 years ago in simple surroundings with incredible honesty. I was probably one of the first Westerners to enter the restaurant in a long time!
When it comes to service I have to admit that I can be quite specific! My wife always laughs at me when I want to have a chat with the owner or the chef. Like everyone else, I love to be treated as if I’m a special guest: have the owner recognise me, be placed at one of the best tables, and be offered a bottle of wine not on the menu. Not too long ago I watched a BBC program on the Claridges Hotel in London where the manager said “good service is about creating one absolutely unique moment that the guest will always remember and that is what makes them come back”. I think that hits the nail on the head of what good service is about.
Whilst I love experiential cuisine, I’m a big fan of simple and honest food.
And, finally, it is the people. It sounds obvious, but even with the best food, outstanding service and the most unique place, I don’t think it could be a truly gourmet evening if the company were not right. A friend of mine once said “food is about sharing” and I think this is it! Good food needs to be enjoyed with friends and family!
Matthias Tesi Baur
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