Interview with Award-winning Executive Chef Hermann Schaefer

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In living and loving all things related to eating and drinking responsibly I was tipsy (the good kind) with excitement to be able to get an interview in January with Award-winning Executive Chef Hermann Schaefer. Chef Hermann is currently spreading his executuve chef knowledge and expert oversight of shaking, sautéing and stirring of culinary creations and cocktails at the the Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa (FAB resort).

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Award-winning Executive Chef Hermann Schaefer

Take a few moments to read the Q & A with Chef Hermann, I truly enjoyed myself and he was gracious, friendly and kept his signature Apéritif Cocktails fresh, refreshed and constantly enticing my tastebuds for more. Don’t hate, you can get your share when you visit Acqua at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa. Ok, time to get to this interview.

Caz: Were you inspired to pursue a passion to become a chef from the many years in the kitchen with your Oma (grandmother)?
Chef Hermann: Yes, that was the kickstart. My parents own a winery and restaurant at home in Austria . My brother became a wine maker and I went on to become a chef.

Caz: When you go home to Austria to visit, where do you enjoy grabbing a bite to eat?
Chef Hermann: My family lives approx. 25 kilometers outside of Vienna in the wine region, I enjoy going to my friends restaurant which is 5th/6th generation family owned in my hometown. I pretty much eat there everyday.

Caz: What was your initial thought when you were first notified that Acqua received the 2014 Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence?
Chef Hermann: We’ve received the award for the last 7 years. It was a great and we’re super proud of that. I’m proud every year we’ve gotten the award and always thrilled.

Caz: What do you see as the next big trend behind the bar and on the plate?
Chef Hermann: 2-3 years ago most bars began handcrafting cocktails instead of the standard rum and coke. Mixologist are going to ask customers “How do you feel?” and craft cocktails based on mood, personalizing cocktails per customer.

Caz: Who is Chef Hermann’s favorite chef?
Chef Hermann: Alan Ducasse, he has multiple Michelin star restaurants in Paris and beyond. I can identify most with his cooking style. I love what he does. I also like Thomas Keller.

Caz: What about the Hilton has kept you here for so long?
Chef Hermann: Hilton executives would dine at the restaurant where was the chef in Switzerland, they enjoyed my cooking and occasionally asked me to come work for Hilton. One day I decided to give it a try as I really liked the American flair. I started at the Hilton Anaheim, I worked on fixing their menus and kitchen operations. After that experience they sent me to the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa, I fell in love and decided to stay.

Again, I want to thank Chef Hermann for taking time out of his schedule and chat with TheCazBar. Wait, what about his signature Apéritif Cocktails? No worries, I haven’t forgotten. I only wish I had one (all) while typing my recap.

Save water and drink champagne is my new motto!

Chef Hermann’s champagne of choice and one of my new FAV’s is Laurent-Perrier

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Laurent-Perrier Champagne served at Aqua Restaurant at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa.

Chef Hermann’s Apéritif Cocktails at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa.

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Apéritif Cocktails (right to left) Champagne N 6, Depuis 1812, Elderflower, Cuvee N 571J

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Depuis 1812 (Laurent-Perrier, Hennessy, Grand Marnier, Mataschino Liqueur and flamed orange)

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Champagne N 6 (Laurent-Perrier, Strawberries, Vanilla and lemon juice)
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Cuvee N 571J (Laurent-Perrier, Ketel One Vodka, Chambord, Pineapple)
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Apéritif Cocktail Menu

Feel free to try any of these at home. If you want an original Apéritif Cocktails created by Chef Hermann schedule a vacation at the Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa, you will NOT be disappointed.

Always remember to Clink and Drink Responsibly!

Cheers,
Caz

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  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Interview with Award winning Executive Chef Hermann Schaefer
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Interview with Award winning Executive Chef Hermann Schaefer
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Interview with Award winning Executive Chef Hermann Schaefer
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Interview with Award winning Executive Chef Hermann Schaefer
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Interview with Award winning Executive Chef Hermann Schaefer