For three decades – from August 28, 1991, to October 24, 2020 – Hans Haas cooked at Munich’s “Tantris” and turned the two-Michelin-starred establishment into a unique institution in Germany. A mecca for gourmets, where the guest is the center of attention. To achieve this, Hans Haas has worked 18 hours a day over these 30 years, with 50 to 60 menus at lunchtime and 80 to 100 menus in the evening.
The Austrian knows about his achievement, even if he himself speaks little about it. “Many people can cook well. But to bring one hundred percent every evening, and to keep it up, is the art.” Two things in particular are what have driven him in the kitchen. Working with excellent products and preparing them to perfection. In addition to Haas’ childhood in the Tyrolean mountains, it was above all his great teachers Paul Haeberlin and Eckart Witzigmann who shaped him in this respect. Haeberlin’s “Auberge de l’Ill” in Illhaeusern, Alsace: the serene harmony and opulence of one of the best kitchens in France. Witzigmann’s “Aubergine”: the visionary perfectionism of Germany’s first 3-star chef.
An own culinary signature
Building on this, Hans Haas has developed his very own culinary signature with his cuisine of refined simplicity. In it the influences of French cuisine and his Austrian homeland are wonderfully intertwined. Based on the quality of the food he uses, Haas was one of the first top chefs in Germany to turn to high-quality regional products at an early stage. In order to preserve their own flavor on the plate, he developed new, gentle preparation methods and caused a sensation with them. Many of these methods are now common knowledge and are copied in cooking magazines and kitchen blogs. Not so easy to imitate, however, is his outstanding sense of taste and harmony.
The ingredients of his dishes, seldom more than three or four, are always especially coordinated. He does not deliver show plates on which every ingredient wants to be the main actor. Rather, his plates are characterized by a culinary-aromatic togetherness whose delightful effect often only reveals itself directly on the palate. Some people who have not eaten with Hans Haas and only know his recipes tend to underestimate him in comparison with apparently more “modern” colleagues. Yet Hans Haas has unflinchingly and confidently ignored questions about culinary fads and simply sought the best taste.
This volume brings together 35 classic recipes by Hans Haas, visualized through authentic photographs without food styling. They are accompanied by short essays by me that illustrate the special character of Haas’s cuisine and convey something of the underlying culinary meaning of each dish. Unlike a conventional cookbook, this is less about the “how” and more about the elementary question of “why.” Recipes and essays are preceded by a lengthy interview I conducted with him. In it, you learn a lot about Hans Haas the cook, but certainly also about Hans Haas the person.
35 Signature Dishes. The limited premium edition
With texts and an interview by Stefan Pegatzky
264 pages, format: 28 x 29 cm, hardcover, numerous illustrations
© of images: Tre Torri Verlag / 3c4x food photography, London/Berlin