Residenz Heinz Winkler – Chiemsee, Bavaria, Germany

An Urban Legend Takes to the Hills

Muncheners went into withdrawal when the country’s finest chef left the kitchen of Tantris (and Munich) to set up a place of his own. Residenz Heinz Winkler is close enough for them to make the trip for a gastronomic fix; the chef has set up shop in a charming 600-year-old coaching inn in idyllic Bavarian country, with Austria just down the road.

Diners can experience much of the alpine beauty the area has to offer without even leav­ing the dining rooms magnificent open-air ter­race, but there’s no doubting that the best activity available is eating. Trailing his stars, toques, and accolades behind him, Winkler explores the frontiers of lighter German cook­ing still redolent of classical French princi­ples, but enhanced with the Bavarian flourishes for which he is world-famous.

A sig­nature seasonal dish that embodies his philos­ophy in the kitchen is his venison souffle with celery mousse. Plan to dip into Winkler’s excellent collection of great wines, whether from Germany’s Rhine Valley or farther afield. And save room for the iced Grand Marnier souffle with fresh strawberries, knowing you needn’t go far to sleep it all off (hope for a bal­conied room with mountain views).

But keep in mind that Herr Winkler thinks that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Once fortified, head out to explore the surrounding area. Germany’s southeastern comer is famous for Ludwig II’s sumptuous Schloss Herrenchiemsee, created in 1885 after his trip to France to mimic Versailles (in particular its Hall of Mirrors, reproduced here to scale and over­looking Ludwig’s gardens) and built on its own island, one of three in the middle of beautiful Chiemsee, Bavaria’s largest lake.

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