The first time I came to Leipzig was in 2006, at that time the town started to show early signs of the transition that was to come. When visiting Berlin I was eager to see how Leipzig had transformed. On the food front, I was eager to try out the food at restaurant Villers in Leipzig, where Chef de Cuisine Hannes Schlegel is using a mix of French classic cuisine combined with local ingredients and some local touches to the dishes. This is combined with an extensive wine list of around 200 wines with a great specialisation on the local regions of Saxony and Saale/Unstrut.
Hannes Schlegel – Chef de Cuisine
Hannes Schlegel, who was born and bread in Leipzig learn his first skills at “Restaurant Stadtpfeiffer” belonging to the Leipzig Gewandhaus. When he turned 25 Hannes moved south to Switzerland he started working for prestigious restaurants such as „Jaspers“ in Luzern and „Adelboden“ in Steinen. This is where he got a great insight into international Haute Cuisine. After his experiences in Switzerland he worked in the United States and Finland, thereby even further enhancing the variety of his cuisine in general. What is on the menu at Restaurant Villers is influenced by this very variety. He came back to his roots when he returned to Leipzig in 2011 when he joined the kitchen team at “Steigenberger Grandhotel Handelshof Leipzig” as sous-chef. Since December 2014 he is the Chef de Cuisine at Restaurant Villers, which is part of Hotel Fuerstenhof.
I have travelled for many years and explored the world of food. I have eaten in Michelin star restaurants and also come from a family who understands the importance of food and how it can be experienced in so many fabulous ways. In meeting Hannes it was clear he just loves what he does. His creative influences during this interview clearly show his talent and his passion when it comes to serving food to his customers. I have to say this was one of the most exciting eating experiences I have had to date. Listen to some key tips from Hannes that make you a good chef.
The Eating Experience
After my interview with Hannes we talked through the menu and the dishes he would cook for us. We decide to go for the five-course option on the menu and this was complemented with matching wines from Germany. The eating setting is in an elegant Neo-classical saloon with high ceilings and opulent chandeliers.
The oxtail consomme, which had in the side dish a local Saxon delicacy hidden in the form of pig’s nose. Our other dish was the louvage soup.
The second course was a delight to the eye and taste buds. This was a cold dish which combined the taste of trout with cucumber, apple and dill sorbet ice, it was just a perfect mix of tastes. I loved the gin and tonic gel-based bites.
For the third course, we had two different seafood-based dishes. The first one was white fish, a Norway lobster with some frog leg. This was the first time I tried frog leg and I loved it. The second dish was pike-perch with creamed spinach.
Through the first three courses, we had the following matching white wines, these wines were all from Germany and some even from Saxony. I am not super familiar with German wines but they all tasted excellent and brought out the best of the food experience.
Here we tried to two meat-based dishes, the pigeon breast and the beef. Both dishes where perfectly executed and again a delight to the eye and your taste buts, with the pigeon breast cooked perfectly.
The last dish for the night was a venison dish.
We went again for German wines, this time red to accompany each dish.
If you want an haute cuisine dining experience in Leipzig, Restaurant Villers is the place to dine. I was impressed with the variety of the menu, the execution of the dishes, the extensive wine list and the top level of service. I am confident that this Restaurant with Hannes Schlegel as chef de cuisine is at level with restaurants of Michelin star quality. I will not be surprised at all if they will get the coveted award soon.
- Restaurant Villers – 5 Course Menu – €77 Matching wines – €9 per course (0.1 L)
- Website: https://www.hotelfuerstenhof-leipzig.com/restaurant-bars/restaurant-villerswww.hotelfuerstenhof-leipzig.com/restaurant-bars/restaurant-villers
- Opening hours: 18:30 – 23:00
- Address: Hotel Fürstenhof, Leipzig, Tröndlinring 8, 04105 Leipzig, Germany
- Telephone: +49 341 1400