From another planet

Meyers Keller in Nördlingen

From another planet

Meyers Keller in Nördlingen

Most star chefs pass through lots of different stations in the large establishments before opening their own restaurants. But things were a little different for Joachim Kaiser. He is self-taught and yet, despite this – or perhaps because of this! – has been awarded a Michelin star. Nördlingen has played a key role in his cooking from the very beginning: "My wife and I always believed that someone had to make this region, with all of its peculiarities, tastable."

'My wife and I always believed that someone had to make this region, with all of its peculiarities, tastable.'

You begin to understand why when you look back into the earth's history: 14.5 million years ago, a metoerite hit the earth and created the Nördlingen Ries: The circular plain, which is some 25 kilometres in diameter, is the crater caused by the impact, and is surrounded by a striking chain of hills, which are around 100 metres in height – the crater rim.

Joachim Kaiser im Meyers Keller

A further circle, which looks like it has been drawn by a compass, lies almost in the middle of this; it is as if the people of several centuries ago had a real love for symmetry. This smaller circle is the free imperial town of Nördlingen, with the fully preserved city walls encompassing the town. Following the Thirty Years' War, Nördlingen lay dormant like Sleeping Beauty, and is now a fine example of an intact townscape, something that is rarely found in Germany.

A treasure hunt for old recipes and ingredients

In order to make this special region "tastable" in his restaurant Meyers Keller, Joachim Kaiser is constantly on the hunt for old recipes, forgotten ingredients and traditional handicrafts. He can have a field day with this. "The great thing is to be able to source everything that you need for a sophisticated kitchen from within just a few kilometres. The Ries is unbelievably fertile and there is a massive range of different soils in just a small area. It means that you can grow everything from asparagus to potatoes."

Gastraum in Meyers Keller
Joachim Kaiser in der Küche

Beer is a key local ingredient for Joachim Kaiser. It comes as no surprise: His mother was one of the first women to be given the official title of Master Brewer. Joachim Kaiser wants to put beer back where it should, in his mind, be: as an equal alternative to wine.

'You just need to explain a little about the beer. People are soon curious to try it for themselves.'

It fits that one of the finest beers in Germany is brewed just a few kilometres from Nördlingen: the Champagne beer of the Fürstlich Wallerstein brewery. It is used in Meyers Keller together with other select beers – even as a suggested accompaniment for the finest dishes. Don't guests scoff at this? "Nonsense!" says Joachim Kaiser, smiling. "You just need to explain a little about the beer. People are soon curious to try it for themselves." And, in actual fact, the recommended Weißbier (wheat beer) goes wonderfully with the fish dish, with its light herbal, bitter taste and its citrus notes. Who'd have thought it?

Champagnerbier

SIMONE FROM SIMONE’S KITCHEN VISITS JOACHIM KAISER AND HIS RESTAURANT MEYERS-KELLER IN NÖRDLINGEN

Simone is a food and travel blogger with a special interest in regional culinary specialities. She was therefore in her element with Joachim Keller at Meyers Keller in Nördlingen.

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Meyers Keller
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address: Marienhöhe 8, 86720 Nördlingen
Tel: +49 (0)9081 4493
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email: restaurant@meyerskeller.de
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web: //www.meyerskeller.de/