The GaultMillau guide has elected Otto Geisel, President of Slow Food Deutschland and vice-president of the German Culinary Academy, Restaurateur of the Year. He is the owner of the Zirbelstube and Vinothek restaurants in Bad Mergentheim.
The guide’s editor Manfred Kohnke praised Geisel for being a “noble aesthete, respectful wine expert and a multifaceted culinary figure who is exemplary of an unconventional, high quality kind of hospitality that appeals to young people”.
Geisel’s philosophy is summed up on the back of the Zirbelstube’s menu;
“In a time where anonymous products are taking the world by storm, this restaurant feels that the gastronome and the cook must always learn more about where a product comes from, that they should know the producers and be prepared to pay the right price for their products. The rule is: the best product is that which has not travelled more than 50 or 100 kilometers. This is not excess provinciality but rather attention to sustainability. We prefer regional products and want to promote them without limiting ourselves to regional cuisine. And we are curious about experiencing tastes from different regions and countries. Our self-imposed rules are not dogmatic, they are flexible. We follow the three rules of Slow Food’s ‘new gastronomy’: Good, Clean and Fair”.