Saxony’s regional cuisine is as varied as the landscape and the changing seasons. Award-winning chef André Tienelt is committed to raising awareness of this culinary richness and promoting local dishes.

So what exactly is typical Saxony cuisine? No one is better equipped to answer that question than André Tienelt. A native of Freital, he earned a Michelin star for his restaurant in Bad Schandau, “Sendig”, and remains faithful to his culinary homeland by seeking out the finest ingredients for his dishes – including the very best beef and first-class fish – within Saxony.

Freshness and quality from around the region

“A good chef knows that work doesn’t begin in the kitchen, but way before that,” says Tienelt. Every high-class restaurant relies on top-notch suppliers and producers, which is why he has criss-crossed his native “Saxon Switzerland” and the wider region many times since opening his restaurant in 2007. Tienelt has found, and continues to find, more and more people who are passionate about their products and committed to making them taste even better. “We’ve been able to recruit a fish farmer who works exclusively with us and shows the same dedication to quality as we do,” says Tienelt. Trout and char are given high quality feed and allowed more time to grow, and Tienelt is convinced you can really taste the difference. Fresh chickens and quail raised “with grass underneath their feet” are all sourced by the restaurant in the local area. The same goes for fruit, vegetables and wild herbs like chervil and tree spinach, which “hardly anyone knows these days – its strong and slightly tart flavour is simply glorious,” says Tienelt. He can cite many other examples and it’s quite clear that good regional cuisine really needs to follow the rhythm of the seasons and use locally sourced ingredients. “That means even internationally inspired dishes can become Saxon specialities,” says Tienelt. The success of his strategy is borne out by his Michelin star. “When it was awarded, we had some very traditional dishes like pork belly and trout on the menu,” recalls the chef. “The decisive factor was their quality.”

Ambassador for Saxony’s culinary delights

Over the past few years, André Tienelt has devoted a huge amount of time and energy to working with his suppliers to bring top quality Saxony products to the table. He also pursues this mission far beyond his own kitchen. While his restaurant is being refurbished following the severe flooding of 2013, Tienelt and his team are travelling all over Germany and abroad as culinary ambassadors for Saxony. For example, he cooked at the World Economic Forum 2014 in Davos. He was also head of the jury that chose “Saxony’s first amateur star-ranked chef” on 19 January 2014 at the Green Week in Berlin – demonstrating that fresh and delicious Saxon cuisine doesn’t just belong in restaurants, but also on family dining tables.