Organic Hotel Kolonieschänke Burg

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Spreewald Journal Issue: May/June 2017

Interview with chef Jörg Thiele: "It's the love you put into selected basic ingredients."

Vienna, Sylt, Mallorca - these are just a few of the stages that Jörg Thiele, an independent gastronomic consultant, recipe developer and food stylist, went through before he was drawn to the Spreewald in 2012. In the meantime, Jörg Thiele cooks at the Kolonieschänke in Burg and also offers cooking courses and nutrition and business consulting, for example. In addition, his own "Favourite Chef Seal of Approval" distinguishes products that meet his standards of quality, origin and sustainability. Exciting, isn't it?

Mr Thiele, in 2016 you cooked your way very successfully through the TV show "The Taste". What are the most valuable experiences you took away from this time? The most important experience I gained on "The Taste": Performance is one side of the coin, on the other side you still need a whole portion of luck and coolness to win. It was a wonderful experience to cook with so many top chefs and it's nice that so many friendships have developed across the teams. Those who know your versatile interpretations know that you like to combine the local with the extravagant. What is most important to you in your creations? It's the love you put into selected basic ingredients. At the same time, you must never lose touch with reality, because the dishes must inspire everyone and not be detached works of art. My dishes are developed in such a way that they are special in terms of taste and offer enough sophistication to make guests happy. In your opinion, what is one of the far too underestimated ingredients in the kitchen? And how can that be changed quickly? Salt - even though this valuable food ingredient has been highly valued since ancient times and completely changes dishes, we all consume far, far too much of it. It is difficult to dose and you can quickly oversalt a dish. Excessive salt consumption can lead to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases, so eat less salt, season more and always use the same salt, because every salt has a different seasoning power. My tip: I only use Himalayan salt in my kitchen. Since this spring, you have been the culinary director of the organic hotel Kolonieschänke in Burg. What is your vision for your work here? Culinary-wise, I run the hotel together with a chef I trust, because as hotel manager, host and favourite chef, I naturally have many, many other tasks. My vision is to put regionality first and still be able to offer organic quality, and I would also like to set up a Spreewälder-Genusstafel (Spreewald delicacy table) and spoil guests at a long table with a gourmet menu of the highest standard. Psst! Do you perhaps have a recommendation for a dish with which Spreewalders can make their guests at home taste the region in no time at all? The answer to this question can be found on my YouTube channel Lieblingskoch: Grützwurststrudel mit Blitzsauerkraut, Speckchip und Senf.