High Noon on the Stove

High Noon on the Stove

Every little niche channel on TV now has its own 'celebrity' chef. Cooking is booming, attracts big audiences, and allows for smooth product placements. When vegetables are chopped in a Braun food processor, boiled in a Fissler top and eaten with WMF cutlery, the advertising dollars flow in. All social stereotypes notwithstanding, cooking on TV is dominated by men. So much for the idea that women belong in the kitchen: culinary creations are men's work, come hell or high water. Clearly, competition among top chefs leads to crowding in the marketplace, but the latent hostilities come to the boil in the form of a cook-off. After all, duels always make good TV. That has nothing in common with vegans' love for their fellow man: instead, beef shanks face off against rare steak. Someone who seems ideally suited for this kind of culinary combat is Tim Raue. A cook, whose name means raw - the implications couldn't be clearer.

After his parents separated, Tim grew up in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin. It was the mid 1980s, and the first May Riots and squatters were filling the headlines, and Berlin was the sick man of Germany. Tim fled his father's beatings onto the streets and joined a gang. The "36 Boys" were rightly feared on the city's streets. In the heart of the former Berlin Southeast 36 postal district, a.k.a. SO36, they ruled the neighborhood between Görtlitzer Park and the Mariannenplatz. Tim was always in the thick of any gang rivalries. In their fights against the "Warriors" from the Schlesischen Tor district and the "Black Panthers" from the Wedding area, he learned how to give it out and get stuck in. Despite these seemingly unpromising beginnings, he did manage to graduate from his vocational high school and got an apprenticeship as a cook. Tim left the "36 Boys" behind and threw himself into his work.

Cooking suited him. He first earned his spurs in the kitchens of the Brandenburger Hof luxury hotel and the Schloss Glienicke restaurant. Large, professional kitchens are hot, loud, and hectic. Each work area is governed by a strict hierarchy and, as an apprentice, Tim was at the bottom of the pecking order. He held his own. Anyone who can survive the onslaught of the Warriors can also cope with a pro kitchen. The effort paid off and Tim successfully made the leap into running his own high-profile kitchen. In 1997, he became chef-de-cuisine in the Rosenbaum restaurant at the tender age of 23. From then on, his star was firmly in the ascent. Tim Raue started by being named "Rising Star of the Year" before going on to be named "Berlin Masterchef" and, eventually, earned his first Michelin star. Since 2010, he and his wife have jointly run the "Tim Raue" restaurant in Kreuzberg, on his home turf. The title of his biography, which came out in 2011, sums up this star chef's unbelievable ambition in a snappy sentence. In German, it translates as "I know what it means to be hungry."

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Published : 12/3/2015 11:24:52