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Austrian-born chef Michael Quendler is the owner of hotel restaurant Die Mühlenhelle in the town of Gummersbach, Germany. In this area, you’ll run into a couple of fascinating historic sights, including the “Bunte Kerke”, a Protestant church that dates back to the Middle Ages and features impressive ceiling paintings. With his uncomplicated and vegan-friendly creations, Michael earned himself a prestigious Michelin star. To learn more about this talented chef, we asked him about his culinary style, favourite dishes and his hardest career challenge so far.
Michael, can you tell us a little bit about your background?
I came here in 2007 with my wife Birgitta and our first daughter Hannah. After 15 years in Gummersbach, we’re now a cozy family with four children between the ages of 6 to 16 years old and some rabbits in the backyard.
How would you describe your cooking style?
My cooking style is based on French cuisine with a modern twist and without forgetting my Austrian roots. Also, I always focus on vegetarian and vegan dishes.
What's your favourite dish to make?
I’ve always liked braising meats like ox cheeks or lamb shanks.
What is your favourite ingredient to work with?
That’s an impossible question for me to answer. It’s like asking a parent who their favourite child is. I just try to use the right ingredients at the right time.
My cooking style is based on French cuisine with a modern twist and without forgetting my Austrian roots
Who is one of your top suppliers or producers?
I think that regional products are the best type of products. They don’t have to travel so long and are really fresh. At the moment, I work with green asparagus from a farmer nearby. I also love the lachsforelle from Forellenzucht Kamp, located three kilometers from our restaurant.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your culinary career?
Right now the biggest challenge is fighting the pandemic. We’re all doing that, we’re all trying to survive. Currently we’re only offering takeaway and I would love to be able to open our restaurant again. The most important thing is not to lose hope and to try to convince our employees that this fight makes sense and is worth it.
Which gastronomic trend are you excited about the most?
What I personally love doing is drawing on old, classic dishes and presenting them in a modern way.
If you could only eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would that be?
Kärntner Kasnudeln. This is a traditional dish from my hometown Klagenfurt in Austria. It’s a kind of pasta filled with potatoes, cheese and mint.
Thank you, Michael.
Book your table at restaurant Die Mühlenhelle
Get a taste of top chef Michael Quendler’s delicious and creative European dishes. Book your lunch or dinner at hotel restaurant Die Mühlenhelle (Gummersbach, Germany) with us.