Bad Peterstal-Griesbach - Taste the stars with Martin

Martin Herrmann reigns over the kitchens of Relais & Château Dollenberg in the Black Forest, 40 km from Strasbourg. With his brother-in-law Meinrad Schmiederer, he wrote the beautiful story of this site in the heart of nature, from the mountain inn to the gourmet restaurant.

Latest edition : 26 April 2020

With his big, slightly shy smile, Martin Herrmann does not really resemble the image one has of a two-star chef. He looks more like a big kid having fun in the kitchen. Which isn't untrue, especially when it's time for the highly prized “Küchenparty”.

The career of this sympathetic chef is surprising. His parents had started a “kitchen-canteen”. “We sometimes prepared up to 1,000 dishes for parties. It was honest but necessarily simple cooking. It is finally thanks to his grandmother that he finds the way to Dollenberg. “Coming home from lunch, she decided that this was the right place for my apprenticeship”.

A week later, Martin enters the Dollenberg, whose kitchens he has never left!
At the time, it was the hotelier himself, Meinrad Schmiederer, who ruled the kitchen. “He was, and still is, a very demanding boss! It is with him that I learned fine gastronomy. A gastronomy based mainly on French cuisine - "in my eyes the best" - but which also gives a large place to regional recipes and good local products.

Each style adapts to the different restaurants of the Dollenberg, from the mountain inn to the highly gastronomic "Pavilion".

His gastronomic philosophy? “You have to travel to broaden your horizons, to keep learning. But we are not in Hong Kong, we have to take into account our own region in our way of cooking. You have to know how to keep it simple but treat the products with respect. Which doesn't prevent him from refining one or the other of his creations with an Asian touch. According to his desire in fact.

From apprentice to boss's brother-in-law

At the age of 18, Martin falls in love with his boss's sister. Meinrad Schmiederer does not take a dim view of this union, having perceived all the professional potential of the young Martin. "But he didn't have a free pass," says the man who built an impressive estate starting from... almost nothing.

"My own apprenticeship master had lent me the silverware and crockery so that I could open my little hotel-restaurant", remembers Meinrad Schmiederer who had difficulty, at first, giving up his place in the kitchen to his young brother-in-law. "Family or not, he is still just as demanding," smiles Martin Herrmann, for whom obtaining his second star in 2009 was tantamount to a dubbing. “It's also an incentive to try to go even further, to evolve further, to satisfy a new and ever more demanding clientele. »

What has changed during his thirty years in the kitchens of Dollenberg? “Basically, we always find the same regional products, but we cook them much more delicately. The portions are smaller but more varied to allow guests more culinary discoveries. »

The Dollenberg's restoration has evolved as the hotel has grown over the years into an impressive hotel estate with a superb spa.

Martin Herrmann and his brigade cook just as much for the “greats” of this world (Obama and Sarkozy during the NATO summit in Kehl) as for the hiker or the Alsatian guests who come every Sunday at brunch time. A success due not only to the quality of the cuisine but also to the warm welcome – many employees are of Alsatian origin.


Dollenberg 3, 77740 Bad Peterstal

Phone. 00 49 7806 780.

Closure of the gastronomic restaurant Le Pavillon from June 15 to July 1.