René began as a butcher before he trained to be a chef. He went on to to found a small catering company that quickly became popular. He has shared his love of taste experiences with food lovers as head chef in the cookery school and event location ‘Gastraum in der alten Zigarrenfabrik’ in Cologne, Germany, since 2013. René has a fascination for nature and spends almost as much time in his garden as in his kitchen.
"You could wake me up in the middle of the night and I'd cook you a three-course meal! Cooking is a constant in my life, I don't have to prepare for it, it's just there!"
I bought my first good knife when I finished my training. What a difference it made! I loved that knife: I always took it home with me after work. When I’ve gotten comfortable with a knife, it also has sentimental value. I’m very particular and I always sharpen and hone them myself.
"My new favourite is the Performer Paring Knife - it's just the right size, the handle lies comfortably in my hand and it's so easy to work with. The blade is a versatile all-rounder, especially for small ingredients, fresh vegetables and herbs. It stays clean - everything just rolls right off of it."
"As a young cook I did a brief stint on a shopping channel. I wanted to slice a coconut in half with a cleaver, but a massive chunk of steel broke off the blade. That could have turned into a real horror scene! It had a happy ending, though. I was able to get out of that contract and from that moment on I only trusted premium products that deliver what they promise, no matter what. "
"I like to work with the ingredients nature gives us, right from my vegetable garden. You shouldn't have to have some special 'trained palate' to appreciate the flavour of good food."
"My cooking style is simple, local, seasonal and spontaneous – I find inspiration at the market or in my garden. I don’t cram too many ingredients into a dish. My guests should be able to recognise and appreciate what is on their plate – and then they should be able to cook it for themselves at home."