Only if the ingredients blend harmoniously can we excite our guests. This takes flair, experience and passion.
Park Hotel Sonnenhof, Vaduz
Five questions for Hubertus Real
You have the privilege of running a top-quality establishment in your parents' hotel. What does that mean to you?
Hubertus Real: Today that means everything to me, and I'm hugely grateful to my parents for the work they did before me. Nowadays it would no longer be possible to build up the restaurant from scratch as a family business without having to find an investor. On the other hand, when I was younger, being the son of successful hoteliers felt more like a burden than a privilege, so it didn't fit in with my plans.
How important is it for you to have a harmonious team in your kitchen?
Hubertus Real: For me, a harmonious team is everything! Only in a positive, friendly working atmosphere do colleagues feel content in their work – and express that in the form of top performance. For this reason, most of our staff stay with us for a long time, which is a rare thing in the catering trade.
How much time do you get to cook for yourself, privately?
Hubertus Real: To be honest, hardly any, except in the holidays. Generally speaking, though, I'm not such a keen private cook. If I cook privately it's usually for my children on Sunday evenings. Otherwise I prefer to go out and eat whenever I can, to have someone else cook for me if there's time.
What are the values you appreciate most as a chef?
Hubertus Real: On the one hand, I'm certainly demanding and fanatical about quality. In the gastronomic world, you simply have to be. At the same time, though, I'd say I stood for warmth, intimacy and kindness. Also, I'm always there for everyone, whether guests, partners, staff or family.
If you were a spice or a herb, which one would it be and why?
Hubertus Real: Root ginger. It's spicy and powerful, yet down-to-earth and harmonious and, above all, it can be used in almost everything.