Harald Wohlfahrt sends lounge guests on a “culinary journey”
Beyond the window front of the Munich Airport Lufthansa First Class Lounge, aircrafts are taxiing as they prepare to take off, but the most spectacular sight today are the plates the guests have in front of them. A small tartar roll, which is only one component of the appetizer, “Trilogy of Blue Fin tuna”, is artfully lined with chili threads and sprouts. The miso cream, meticulously positioned next to the fish, is one of the numerous finishing touches that Harald Wohlfahrt adds to each dish prepared according to his recipes at the show-cooking station – live, in-person and under the gaze of the guests.
The Michelin-starred chef, who is part of the LSG Group’s network of experts, places his glasses on the bridge of his nose and pipes another five drops of miso cream, each gradually increasing in size. The execution is immaculate, just like his perfectly round tuna roll. “I always try to interpret the zeitgeist and put it on my plate,” Wohlfahrt says as he lays tuna that’s briefly been pan-fried atop Sardinian-grilled vegetables, the second component of the tuna trio appetizer, before sprinkling roasted sesame seeds and finishing with a few drops of sesame oil over the fish.
In this dish, Japan meets Italy and France, Wohlfahrt. “If you don’t get with the times, you go with the times,” says the chef, who has been awarded three Michelin stars 25 times in the Michelin Guide. “I too have taken in global influences and translated them in my restaurants.” Aniseed-stained tuna served on a glass noodle salad with coriander vinaigrette – the third component of the starter – is no exception.
“The great French cuisine has developed into a culinary art with many cultural influences,” says Wohlfahrt, who continues to inspect his plate with Argus eyes to fix any imperfections before allowing it to be served. “Today’s guests accept culinary creations and combinations they would not have 20 or 30 years ago. Interesting is the broad spectrum of influences that we are surrounded by today.”
This is part of what enables Wohlfahrt to deliver such taste profiles to the guests of the Lufthansa First Class Lounge. As with the other courses, the perfectly pink beef filet with herb varnish, a bean cassoulet, yellow-spiced tomatoes and veal jus comes from his cookbook. “Recipes aren’t secrets,” Wohlfahrt smiles, contradicting some of his colleagues. “I share everything.”
What he has conjured up with the caramelized maracuya sorbet, the ice cream with “exotic flavors” that comprises the sweet conclusion of the three-course meal, he does not tell the guests – at least not in the menu. It’s a little trick that Harald Wohlfahrt employs; to present the guests with a small challenge which, in the best case, informs him that their taste buds are well-adjusted.
After all, Wohlfahrt believes that it is not only the ingredients that give a dish its quality. “Almost everyone has had beef, lamb and venison on their plates. Their enthusiasm can then only be triggered with a personal touch. If a guest has eaten lobster sauce a hundred times, he should be able to say: ‘I’ve never experienced a lobster sauce with such a taste profile before.’ When developing his recipes, Wohlfahrt relies on his knowledge of the products used and his 49 years of experience as a chef. Never has he considered cooking solely for the praise of critics, or to fit into any one gastronomic mould. Typically, he says, if he enjoyed the food, so too would his guests.
This much was proven during Wohlfahrt’s visit to the Lufthansa First Class Lounge in Munich. The guests – some of whom were there because of the prominent guest chef – praise the menu profusely, putting a smile on the face of its designer: “I want to make time for entertaining people and with the recipes I create, send them on a little culinary trip,” Wohlfahrt says delightedly.
All of this, however, is made possible thanks to the contribution of our LSG Sky Chefs colleagues in the kitchen and service. “(They’re) a very good team, and they execute the recipes excellently,” praises Wohlfahrt. “It’s really fun to come to the Lufthansa First Class Lounge. I see employees approaching the guests in a friendly manner to create a unique and memorable experience for them.”