The versatile practicality of my WÜSTHOF Performer Cook’s Knife matches the power and intensity I experience when I listen to music through my headphones. The rhythm immediately captivates and inspires me as I work precisely, whether lightly and delicately or vigorously and powerfully. This 16 cm Cook's Knife is the ideal tool: absolutely perfect for me.Gourmet chef Alexander Scharmberg on the perfect knife
A cook who doesn’t compromise
When professional chef Alexander Scharmberg enters the cooking stage, he does it right! He finds his inspiration in music: and, just as his musical heroes do, he gives each flavour its own expressive note, thus ensuring perfect harmony between movement, ingredients and the inspiring moment of taste.
His secret is his uncompromising passion for everything he tackles. Two examples: Alex says that listening to good music on a bad sound system is an absolute no go. And if you want to be a show cook, you have to take professional acting lessons. With his insistence on clear standards, this straightforward perfectionist was resolute in the Performer development team when it came to ensuring that the knives were ideally balanced.
Alexander discovered his love of fresh food at the age of five, when he enjoyed rolling meatballs, baking cakes and preserving fruit alongside his mother. With his fondness for culinary delights, the likeable Berliner started an apprenticeship at the Forum Hotel in Berlin straight after leaving school. This was followed by further professional positions in well-known establishments such as the Kaisersaal or The Ritz Carlton Hotel, Berlin.
'I always do my absolute best to try to get the most out of every ingredient', is how he describes his motivation, referring to himself as a ‘passionate and rather perfectionist cook’. It is therefore no surprise that he is always on the lookout for the next challenge and continues to further his training in the meantime. He is, however, no theorist, but rather a real hands-on doer, both as a head chef in the Berlin Bierhaus Lemke and as an in-company trainer. In addition, he passes on his knowledge working as a hospitality consultant and a coach as well as a cookery instructor at the WÜSTHOF Knife Skills Academy. Above all he loves his performances as a show cook – for which he has even taken professional acting lessons so that he is always performing at his best – a true perfectionist.
‘Everything I do has a connection to music, because I love it more than anything else and I never go anywhere without my headphones. For me music is a source of relaxation, but also an important inspiration and I always have a few melodies in my head that help me to combine ingredients perfectly.’
Alexander Scharmberg, continuing his pursuit of perfection, was a key member of the Performer development team led by product designer Björn Berger and design engineer Dominic Trautmann. His main focus was on achieving the perfect balance between the black DLC blade and the innovative Hexagon Power Grip. As ‘godfather’ to the 16 cm Performer Cook’s Knife, he creates cutting-edge melodies within the WÜSTHOF knife range.
A never-ending dance on the chopping board!
Knife skills haves always fascinated me, a truly exciting experience. Precise knife skills inspire me. There is a great knife for every task in the kitchen – and I really appreciate a wide selection. When dealing with large quantities of meat, fish, fruit and vegetables, I have to work quickly and efficiently: such demanding and monotonous tasks require a lot of motivation, which is exactly what my music brings me and then the fun and joy provided by a knife that ensures the perfect moment brings even me more inspiration.
My favourite knife is the 16 cm Performer Cook’s Knife, which combines modern aesthetics with unconditional functionality. With every beat it prompts me to keep dancing. Thank you WÜSTHOF.
Cooking with a child
My mother fostered my enthusiasm for cooking: helping her chop and slice the ingredients was fun. Today I experience this from a different perspective – because my son is just like me. Whenever possible, he joins me in the kitchen and together we discover a multitude of tastes, immersing ourselves in the sound of pots rattling and knives chopping. Sitting down at the dining table with the family afterwards, we all feel great. This intensive experience is the soundtrack of my life.
Rooted in Berlin, unconstrained by any wall
As a craftsman I am proud of my profession – especially when my cooking puts a bright smile on people's faces. Being true to my roots, I describe my style as honest Berlin cuisine, it's just the way we are: outspoken, convivial and open to new experiences. This includes appreciation and respect for food, as well as warmth towards our guests. I take a real delight in cooking and love to experiment.