This October my passion for food and travel took me on a new adventure. I had the pleasure to take a smaller group of American guests on a culinary and cultural trip to my home region in Germany and France. It was a wonderful experience and I hope you have a moment for me to take you along on our travel.
We started out in the picturesque town of Heidelberg, Germany. Heidelberg was founded in 1196 and is home of the oldest University and library in Germany, Here we stayed at the very comfortable and centrally located Hotel Villa Marstall. It is right across the river Neckar and in close walking distance to the center of town and all the popular sights. In the morning of the first day some of my guests joined me on a walk up to the philosopher’s way. From there you have a stunning view of the river, the city and the castle. In the pictures you can see the old Neckar bridge with its beautiful gate, the center of town, the castle and the view from the castle over the city and valley. We also took a guided tour. Our very entertaining and well dressed tour guide, Herr Reimelt, I just loved his humor AND his bright red pans, was the best. He shared with us, that he will also be the guide of the British Royal family on their visit next summer. Lucky us! The cellar of the castle is home to the biggest wine barrel in the world. Made from 130 oak trees, it is seven meters wide, over eight meters in length and has a capacity of precisely 221,726 liters. For a time, Prince Elector Karl Theodor employed the Italian court dwarf Perkeo to guard the barrel. Perkeo’s name is said to have derived from his fondness for drink. Whenever anyone asked him if he would like another glass of wine, the answer came back “perché no?” – Why not?
The weather cooperated and we could enjoy a glass of wine and Sekt (local Champagne) together while sitting outside in the center of town before heading to our first dinner together. My guests fell in love with the local Pinot Sekt right away. A love affair that was well nourished throughout the whole trip! For our welcome dinner I had made arrangements at the Gasthaus Backmulde. This is a small, but very highly rated restaurant in the center of town, with excellent service and food.
A big part of this trip was devoted to hands on cooking in local cooking schools to learn the secrets of the regional cuisine. The culinary travel to Heidelberg did lead us to the Kochschule Eppelheim. Upon our arrival the owner Bernd showed us around his very modern kitchen spaces. We stayed in the smaller kitchen, but he also has a much bigger one, that can accommodate larger company events. Chef Thomas was our patient (and handsome) instructor for the day. He can usually be found cooking for the rich and famous on their big yachts all over the world. Thomas put our fun group hard to work. They even learned how to make Spaetzle by hand. I found that very impressive.
The final dishes after the collaborative effort: 1. Smoked trout filet with potato creme and caper aioli 2. Beetroot soup with horseradish dumplings and chervil 3.Pan seared sirloin roast with fried onions, homemade Spaetzle, almond broccoli and carrots 4. Apple fritters with vanilla sauce and fruits
Stay tuned for the upcoming highlights of the trip in which I took my guests wine tasting along the German wine road, sightseeing in Baden Baden, to a traditional wine parade in the village of Sasbachwalden in the Black Forrest, and to more cooking and sightseeing in Strasbourg, France.
Would you be interested in joining me on a culinary adventure to Europe in 2014? Please contact me at: MyKitchenintheRockies(at)dkhall(dot)org