Culinary Stops

"What the Oscars is to an actor, that's the third star to a chef"

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"What the Oscars is to an actor, that's the third star to a chef"

Juan Amador, a German with Spanish roots, living in Vienna became the first chef in Austria to be awarded three Michelin stars in March this year. In a video published by Euromax, Amador explains how he created his own cuisine and demonstrates a classic of puffed potatoes with caviar.

At his Vienna restaurant, Juan Amador has created an extraordinary menu where Catalan and Basque dishes meet French haute cuisine with Asian and Austrian influences. The chef places great emphasis on sourcing the best quality ingredients available and on eschewing culinary trends in order to follow his own path and carve out his own food identity.

His work has paid off with the recognition of receiving a third Michelin star, which Amador likens to winning an Oscar.

“What the Oscars is to an actor, the third star is to a chef because there’s nothing above it. It will always be the most important, most emotional moment by far you can achieve as a cook,” he says.

Unlike some Michelin star chefs, who constantly chop and change the menu in search of the new, Amador prefers to stick with the tried and tested. Some of the dishes have been on the menu for years.

“Imagine going to a Rolling Stones concert and they didn’t play ‘(I can’t get no) Satisfaction’, says Amador. “The classics are what people want. Our guests come from around the world”.

“Recently, we didn’t have the pigeon on the menu and one person said ‘I came all the way from Korea and you didn’t have the pigeon on the menu’. It’s important”.

“We have our own handwriting, our own personality. You’re always hearing about ‘author’s cuisine’. It’s like with music, your band has to have its own style or shape, or develop one.

Amador can trace back to the moment where things changed for him as a chef and he credits Ferran Adria for that change.

“That gave me a push. I’ll never forget it. It was in 1996 with Ferran Adrià in elBulli. I was already a chef with one Michelin star… I ate and then stood up and said ‘I can’t cook’.

Well today Juan Amador certainly can cook and a third star shows that the rest of the world agree.


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