For decades, German cuisine was considered more stodgy than stylish, more functional than flavoursome — but it now boasts a constellation of Michelin stars. Many of its most decorated chefs have risen from humble beginnings: like Helmut Thieltges, who has transformed the Waldhotel Sonnora, his family’s modest guesthouse in western Germany, into a gourmet grandee boasting three Michelin stars. Meanwhile, Chef Joachim Wissler grew up on a farm in the Swabian Alb, a southern mountain range. Today, he gives classic alpine fare an haute cuisine twist, at the helm of his three-starred restaurant Vendôme in the Althoff Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg. For the culinary connoisseur, other top tables include Rutz (in Berlin),
Aqua (in Wolfsburg), and The Table (Hamburg) — all have a trio of Michelin twinklers.