Tim Raue is one of Germany’s most renowned chefs and, together with his business partner Marie-Anne Wild, is the founder of the two Michelin-Starred Berlin restaurant that shares his name. Restaurant Tim Raue has also made the list of Top 50 Restaurants in the world for various years now. He uses Asian elements to inspire his cooking and provide diners with a truly unique menu. Apart from running Restaurant Tim Raue, Chef Raue has made numerous appearances on TV, being featured on the Netflix series, Chef’s Table, VOX program Kitchen Impossible, and Germany’s version of MasterChef, among others.
You are a renowned chef, not only in Germany but in the world. Did you ever think that this would be the result of your journey in the culinary world? When did you know that this was the path you wanted to take?
That happened by accident, as I was invited as a guest chef to international fairs, I was invited by others whom I met there and so I began a journey that allowed me to present myself and my culinary vision around the globe. And to be listed at The World's 50 Best and having a Netflix "chef´s table" episode are two things that allow us to reach customers from the entire world.
Your cooking style is inspired by many Asian elements. What led you to become interested in this fusion and what are you trying to convey with your food? How would you describe your culinary style?
When I was working for Swissotel & Raffles at the beginning of 2000, I traveled to Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo & Bangkok and got to know cuisines that touched me in a way, French cuisine never did. So, I forced myself to invent a unique style, that nowadays seems to be a unique selling point for me.
Restaurant Tim Raue has been awarded two Michelin Stars and is considered one of the top restaurants in the world. What do these accomplishments and acknowledgements mean to you?
First of all, that we are fully booked! Together with my business partner Marie-Anne Wild, we are focused on making money to pay our team –and as funny as this might sound, this is not very common in a German Michelin-starred restaurant. Most of them are not successful businesses but rather a location that is sponsored by someone who sees it as his/her task to support this culture. Secondly, all awards are attracting people to come to our restaurant, which is great. And thirdly, I am extremely proud that we do so great every day.
Your menu is constantly putting an emphasis on health. What inspired you to take this approach to creating your menu? What do you believe is the future for healthier eating?
I was learning about medicinal cooking in Hong Kong and spent time at the "Chinese pharmacy" to understand more about this thousand-year-old tradition and how to heal people with food. That made me change the menu and avoid ingredients which people do not really need.
Speaking of health, nuts and dried fruits are lauded for being an excellent addition to healthy diets. How do you use nuts and dried fruits in your menu?
We use almonds, hazelnuts, pecans and cashews all the time, as well as their oils. Dried fruits like apricots, raisins and dates, we use to sweeten dishes instead of using sugar.
Apart from health, nuts and dried fruits also add great taste and texture to many dishes. For you, what can nuts and dried fruits add to a recipe?
Nuts are crunchy and oxidative, as we always combine truffle with hazelnuts.
You are not just the owner and chef at Restaurant Tim Raue. You embrace the entrepreneur spirit, getting involved in many aspects of the culinary world. What can we expect to see from Tim Raue in the future? Do you have any exciting projects that you’re working on?
I never make plans, so it comes naturally, and I have no clue where and when.
QUICK FIRE ROUND
What do you enjoy the most about being a chef?
It’s my passion.
What is your personal favorite dish with nuts or dried fruits?
Topinambur with hazelnut, winter truffle & raisins and nutty butter.
What is the next big gastronomical trend in the world?
I don`t care, I hate trends, I love traditions.
What nuts and dried fruits do you always have in your kitchen at home?
Nothing, I love to go out to restaurants.
Check out the Chef Raue's Quince, Macadamia & Passion Fruit Recipe!