Avant-garde aromas

“If I’m going to be a chef, then I’m going to have to be a good one.” This is the standard that Michelin-starred chef Thomas Bühner has held himself to since leaving school. Fortunately, he followed his careers advisor’s suggestion that he become either a chef, a baker or a farmer, and Bühner has now been regarded amongst the highest echelon of German chefs for more than 20 years, one of just ten master craftsmen to have been awarded three Michelin stars.

La Vie restoran

Situated in a classical, 18th century listed building in the heart of historic Osnabrück, Thomas Bühner has run the la vie restaurant since 2006. A simple, cosy and relaxing environment – so the diners can truly appreciate the culinary fireworks produced by the avant-garde aroma alchemist. Bühner works with the conviction that there is no more authentic and intense flavour than that of the pure and simple original taste of an individual ingredient. In this spirit, the Michelin-starred chef often spends weeks tinkering and tweaking to fine tune his perfectionist creations. When Thomas Bühner truly unleashes his creativity it is a feast for both the palate and the eyes, proving that the 19 points awarded to him in the Gault Millau are well deserved.

He finds inspiration in the largest kitchen garden in Germany at Ippenburg Castle, where he and his team head out early in the morning to harvest produce for his culinary creations. Rather than a procession of individual courses, Bühner’s explosions of flavour come together to form a symphony where sometimes the violin comes to the fore and at other times the oboe – that is to say, sometimes it is the pure flavour of the meat that sings out, while at other moments it is the combination of herbs which hits the highest notes – but the overall piece emerges from the entire orchestra playing in harmony. Dishes full of creativity, passion and technical precision await those who come to experience this celebration of the senses.

La Vie restoran

The best way to describe The Clove Club is ‘down to earth’: “We really wanted to make something that was personal to us, a restaurant for our generation,” explains the chef. And in The Clove Club, he has certainly succeeded: a place where guests can feel at home, where they are personally looked after while enjoying high quality food. “You have to make time for your guests and really interact with them. We’re very good at that.”

Though a common concept elsewhere, Bühner’s second motto is rarely heard in kitchens: ‘foot off the pedal’. Here he is referring to the speed at which dishes are prepared, but also to the temperature: using gentle vacuum and low-temperature cooking techniques, the aromas of fish, meat and vegetables can be brought out to incredible effect. For proof, look no further than his dish ‘Pure Deer’: rather than using conventional methods to create a sauce, he has developed a pure gravy, using vacuum evaporation to capture the essence of a full flavour that requires no additional spices, roasted aromats or tannins.


Those wishing to experience these perfectionist creations for themselves will have the chance in June 2017, when Thomas Bühner graces Restaurant Ikarus in Salzburg’s Hangar-7 with his tenure as guest chef.

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