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Juan Amador: The German chef who dominates Austrian cuisine

Juan Amador: The German chef who dominates Austrian cuisine

I first noticed Juan Amador in 2008. It was then that NTV presenter Christoph Toner was banned from his three-star restaurant in Langen, near Frankfurt. In a review, Amador’s work was described as “a kitchen for pseudo-gourmets with concentration problems”. In the same text, he insulted his wife at the time. Amador made a save, showing the backbone. Then things went wrong for a while in the multimedia metal circus of our northern neighbors. At some point everyone fell in love again.

Juan Amador is Austria’s first and only star
© Oliver Wolf

Zander from Lake Neusiedl, pointed cabbage, loma ham and goulash juice
© Lukas Kirchgasser

The son of Spanish workers has always been a topic of conversation. positive as well as negative. In the beginning, he made a name for himself mainly because of his talent. The first star came in the early 90’s. After a few stations that also received stars, in 2004 he opened his first restaurant. The “Amador” in Langen was awarded three Michelin stars in 2008. The Culinary Guild’s highest honor. In economic terms, things were not always going well: in 2009 he had to close his second restaurant, “Tasca”. Restaurant “Amador” was closed in 2011. However, the chef smoothly moved to another restaurant in Mannheim that previously operated under a different name, where the three stars were confirmed.

In November 2012, Amador AG had to file for bankruptcy. However, the restaurant business continued. Then in 2015 the final finish of his restaurant “Amador” in Mannheim. Developed the culinary concept for the “Goodwood Park Hotel” in Singapore. The restaurant called “Alma” was also awarded the prestigious star in 2016.

The big bang came in 2016. Amador moved to Vienna for love and opened a “bar” here. It soon became clear that the German chef’s cuisine was much more ambitious. Because in 2017 he was able to cook two stars at once. He was one of the four best chiefs in the city.

Two years later, it came to sheer excitement in the local gastronomy scene. In 2019, when an Austrian restaurant was awarded the highest three-star rating by the Michelin Guide for the first time, it was Juan Amador of all people. Not the extraordinary local chef Heinz Rietbauer, which has long been rumored. no. A “Piefke” with Spanish roots. Then someone else who somehow cooks internationally. And not Austrian at all. Many people in the Austrian gastro feuilleton were also upset.

And Amador? He remained calm. And he was happy. Naturally! After all, “healthy competition makes everyone better.” Since then, it has been positively quiet about the great chef. She didn’t realize it again until these days. On Monday of this week, his name was suddenly spoken of again throughout Austria. The “Falstaff Guide 2023” took him to the top alongside Heinz Reitbauer with a maximum of 100 points.

Iced bourre blanc, royal caviar, hazelnut milk and malt bread
© Lukas Kirchgasser

The stubborn bull-headed man in his motto has once again done many things right. And Amador certainly chose the bull very consciously as a model. In European mythology, this is a sign of fertility. Above all, too, for the sheer force of the rotational motion of the sky.

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Amador has undoubtedly made the culinary heavens spin positively through his decades of star cooking. One could assume that he would continue to let her shine brightly in the future.