He is considered one of the best chefs in Germany: Torsten Michel, 43. In 2004, the Dresden native came to the “Traube Tonbach” to cook in the “Schwarzwaldstube”. He has been head chef at the renowned gourmet address in Baiersbronn for three years. However, in January 2020, the gourmet world received terrible news. This article will tell you more. An interesting interview with Torsten Michel from our WEISS Magazine No.4...

On the night of January 6th, the 230-year-old headquarters of the luxury hotel, where the “Schwarzwaldstube” was located, burned down. After the initial shock, the Finkbeiner hotelier family decided on an interim solution and opened the “temporaire” on the roof of the parking garage after just four months of construction. Torsten Michel and his kitchen team now have a new temporary home - and guests once again have a special place for outstanding enjoyment.

On the “Traube Tonbach” Instagram page you can easily follow the pace at which the new restaurant was built. The fire in January completely destroyed the “Schwarzwaldstube”.

Michel: Everything burned. The chefs' knives, the cookbook collection, pots, 10,000 bottles of wine, the silver, the entire china warehouse - all gone. A tragedy. Luckily no one was hurt and the hotel remained untouched. With the “temporaire” an ingenious temporary solution was created.

When setting it up, you insisted on KPM porcelain.

Michel: Right. Such cuts are often used to question things and do things differently in the future. But I didn't want to change the porcelain.


Michel: The ARKADIA collection is similar to our kitchen: timelessly beautiful. And the sound only comes when the cutlery hits the porcelain! This is part of the enjoyment experience.

The ARKADIA collection

What else do you value?

Michel: Although it is not designed for the catering industry, the KPM porcelain is extremely suitable for everyday use. We have 30 guests in the evening, seven courses per guest, so a lot of plates pass through many hands. They are washed, polished and served. But we have hardly any loss, hardly any breakage: the porcelain is extremely robust.

You are one of the best chefs in the country. When did you know you wanted to be a chef?

Michel: To be honest, I wanted to become a pilot at the end of my compulsory military service, but that didn't work out because of a slight red-green weakness. I wasn't interested in another officer career. So I looked for a training position and was very lucky with the restaurant in the Hotel Bellevue in Dresden. The quality of a training company is determined by the fact that it “picks up” a young person and inspires them to enjoy the job.

The FAZ once wrote: Torsten Michel has a memory for pleasure.

Michel: I think every chef has that. This is what the job entails. In 2010 I was a guest at “El Bulli” by the famous chef Ferran Adrià. I can remember 38 of the 45 courses. If something was particularly good, you carry it with you - and maybe use it at some point.

How is the “temporaire” received by the guests?

Michel: We are fully booked like before. There is no better compliment for a chef.