A successful blend of innovation and tradition
#culinarycologne ambassador: Maximilian Lorenz
It didn’t take long for Maximilian Lorenz to start getting noticed on the Cologne restaurant scene. He took over “L’escalier” in 2012 and was awarded a Michelin star four years later. In 2018 he and his team found a new home, situated between Cologne Cathedral and the Rhine. Here, Lorenz and head chef Enrico Hirschfeld (his equal partner in the business) work on perfecting new German aroma cuisine. Guests at the “maximilian lorenz” restaurant and “heinzhermann” wine bar can expect a first-class culinary experience.
Full of admiration, we are delighted to welcome Maximilian Lorenz as a #culinarycologne ambassador.
What does Culinary Cologne mean to you?
Above all, Culinary Cologne is an opportunity to put Cologne on the map as a culinary hotspot. Our city has a top-quality culinary offering and we need to get that message out there more.
What makes your culinary concept special?
At the “maximilian Lorenz” restaurant, we serve our new German aroma cuisine, which head chef, Enrico Hirschfeld, and I have been refining over the past few years. As the name suggests, our focus is very much on regional produce. We have two menus, “Innovation” and “Tradition”, which we change four times a year, taking our lead from seasonal product availability. The “Tradition” option puts our own spin on familiar flavours and dishes. With the “Innovation” option, we can just let our imagination run free and completely redefine German cuisine as we know it. To round off the gourmet experience, the restaurant only serves German wines with the dishes. Next door at the “heinzhermann” wine bar, which is named after my grandfathers, the list features more than 1,500 delicious wines. And if you’re looking for your favourite wine, we’re bound to have that too.
Why did you choose Cologne? And how has the city influenced you from a culinary point of view?
Cologne was an obvious choice because I was born in nearby Bergisch Gladbach and have close links with our city. I love the local mentality and the way we interact with each other. Cologne never ceases to influence my culinary outlook – through the regional cuisine and all the inspiration I get here.
How do you think Cologne can progress in terms of its culinary offering? How could that be achieved?
There are lots of great ideas plus Michelin restaurants and new eateries appearing on the scene every year. In “Fine Food Days Cologne”, we’ve developed a gourmet festival that provides an impressive showcase for the quality of Cologne’s top restaurants. Cologne has lots of young, ambitious chefs and proprietors, who are set to become big names. Not to forget our unique brewery house and pub culture. For the sector to flourish even more, we need the support of policymakers and government too. Less red tape and more constructive assistance would provide more flexibility, which would help improve the culinary offering. We also need initiatives like Culinary Cologne to promote the culinary face of Cologne.