Last week I had the best meal of my life at Schloss Berg where Christian Bau has made significant progress in modernizing his cuisine. It was amazing!
Some excerpts from my blog report (http://highendfood.wordpress.com):
"Looking back, I always had great dinners at Schloss Berg but my recent experience clearly exceeded my high expectations by far. All in all, previously it was a classic french cuisine ingeniously delivered, beautifully assembled with an emphasis on creating a unique broad flavourful picture. In January this year we still had some variations (of langoustine, foie) which had been delicious but sometimes too complex and overloaded. What a difference now...
What can I say? I have to admit I really like Christian Bau's intelligent way of cooking and I see him on track to the absolute top among European chefs. Compared to my recent experiences at Oud Sluis and Hof van Cleve (which I both praised) Bau is on par - the whole experience is closer to Goossens in style but equally fun and enjoyable as Sergio Herman's cuisine. More importantly whereas Herman and Goossens have only gradually developed their cuisine further in the last two years I experienced big leaps at Schloss Berg, especially from January to August this year.
Christian Bau is on the quest, surely, and he gradually modernizes his cuisine by getting rid of unnecessary elements (as Klaus Erfort, as Christian Jürgens) and reducing his plates to maximum taste. I particularly like the idea of having some typical dishes like the crab, the turbot & langoustine, the sole which he tries to vary improve continuously. His most important strength is an ingenious touch for pairing of flavours in a more conventional way than Juan Amador in a good sense. Together with his strong foie dishes and the patisserie it simply makes him a great chef!
Moreover, I sense that there is still some potential unlocked and dare say that if this is unleashed then only the sky is the limit;-)