Masterchef S01 ep12: Hans Hass, Tantris Restaurant, [Munich]

Interview with Hans Hass

My inspiration is coming from nature - for example when I cook a rabbit , since rabbit eats carrots and lettuce , I serve rabbit with carrots and lettuce. I want the produce to be distinctive and honest . I don't try to wrap a potato five times so it does not look like a potato . I try to keep a product simple and to process it minimally so that the result is a very light , tasty dish. I keeps the vegetables very simple, very lightly cooked. For sauces I don't like to reduce them very much and prefer to keep them light . To thicken them I would rather grate a small amount of potato into it and maybe then at the very end add a little bit of butter. The sauce then tastes very fresh, simple and doesn't overpower the produce.

 

11.28
The name Tantris comes from the Indian, Indian Buddhism culture. It means
"to enjoy" and that is the name, that is also the whole atmosphere of this
restaurant that is to enjoy and to feel you have had an experience here.

11.48
It was started by Ekhardt Witzigmann in the year 1972 and he cooked in
Tantris 7 years and then came Heinz Winkler for 10 years and I've been here
for 12 years.

12.06
I came from a small area in Austria called Tirol from a small village named
Vilshanau. When I was young, my brother was working in a small guesthouse
in this area and one day asked to come and help in the kitchen. I was 10 or 11
years old and did what a young boy could do wash the vegetables, clean the
plates I enjoyed it so much that the chef asked me to come back the following
week and so I just kept doing that I decided to follow my gastromic urges
because it was a lot more fun to work in the kitchen it was the time that I
decided that cooking was for me.

12.48
My apprenticeship cooking experience was very basic and apart from fresh
trout there was no other special ingredients to train with I then transferred into
another kitchen the restaurant in Deiketsi and that is where my real training
began. I was working with better products; fresh fish were coming daily from
the French markets. This was the first time I ever saw goose liver that I could
hold in my hand and so this was my period of discovery and from this kitchen I
was sent by the chef to the three star Michelin Haeberlin brothers in Alsace
and this is really where things went from interesting to sublime.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

13.47
Not only was I now in constant contact with fantastic produce but the Haeberlin
brothers worked closely with their staff and I was always able to learn skills
and techniques directly from these masters by working closely with their staff
they built a great team and I learnt to manage a brigade.

14.14
In 1982 I was forced to leave France because of my visa. The Haeberlin
brothers sent me to Witzigman and I worked in the famous Aubergine
restaurant here in Munich. I was working as a sous chef and it was a very
different atmosphere from the Haeberlin brothers. The Haeberlin brothers
style was very classic and they were very involved with their staff.

14.39
Witzigman was more contemporary by comparison pushed everyone harder
and was more demanding with his kitchen.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

14.57
Although Witzigman had worked in France he used very basic German
produce and was able to create exceptional dishes using these products. He
also took very good French products, and very good humble German produce
and mixed the two together and was able to produce a very high quality
marriage from these two products. This is something which differentiates a
great chef. With my cooking, I want the produce to be distinctive and honest I
don’t try to wrap a potato five times so it doesn’t look like a potato. I try to
keep a product simple and to process it minimally so that the result is a very
light tasty dish. I keep the vegetables very simple, very lightly cooked. The
sauces I don't like to reduce them very much and prefer to keep them light. To
thicken them I would rather grate a small amount of potato into it and maybe
then at the very end add a little bit of butter. The sauce then tastes very fresh,
simple and doesn’t overpower the produce.

Jewellery Theatre Elements

16.24
I am not trying to create a ground breaking cuisine. Instead, I am simply trying
to make the produce taste better for example salmon is normally very difficult
to cook to the satisfaction of the guest. Sometimes it is dry, sometimes it is
OK what I do is place the raw salmon on a plate with some butter, some salt,
seasoning and then cover it with plastic and place it in an oven at around 80
degrees. This cooks the protein inside but doesn’t overcook the salmon. You
do not see the protein setting. So covering it and cooking it very slowly at 80
degrees you are not losing any flavour, you are not leaving the fish in poaching
water to take out all of the flavour, you are extracting all the flavour and the
fish protein is just cooked.

Jewellery Theatre Fairytales

17.30
I enjoy putting together dishes which are easy but creative and intelligent. For
example I made a dish using calf cheeks which is a very well known ingredient
in France. I take two very thinly sliced pieces of baguette add a slice of calf
cheek and cook it in a pan. The cheeks have already been cooked and are
very soft. I place the cheek slices between the bread and pop it into a hot pan
to sauté. You end up with a very crisp sandwich and inside you have this very
soft creamy meat.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE:Hans Hass, Tantris Restaurant, [Munich]