It was actually a perfect symbiosis: The picturesque Schwarzenstein Castle - located near Frankfurt in Geisenheim-Johannisberg - and the two-star chef Nils Henkel, who ran the Schwarzenstein Restaurant there. The restaurant in Schwarzenstein Castle, which was built in 1873 and carefully restored, was considered a culinary jewel, as Nils Henkel cooked at the highest level with his nature-based cuisine. For many, the restaurant under Henkel's management was considered one of the best in the region with its menus perfected down to the smallest detail. All the more surprising was the news that Nils Henkel, voted Chef of the Year 2017 by "Der Feinschmecker" magazine, will no longer be cooking in the beautifully located hotel restaurant.
According to a report in the FAZ, the top chef and his team were already given notice at the end of March. And this despite the fact that he has received several awards for his culinary art and also attracted many guests to the restaurant. The news is also astonishing, as an expansion of the gastro concept was only announced in February: for the first time, a Schwarzenstein Lunch was offered in the castle's gourmet restaurant. In addition to the two existing menus FLORA and FAUNA, the selection was also expanded to include a midweek dinner. This did not sound like the end of the Schwarzenstein - Nils Henkel restaurant in the near future.
Henkel itself is not allowed to give any information about the reasons for the termination for contractual reasons. But on the part of the hotel there should be a statement in the near future. Whatever the outcome of this will be, one thing should already be clear: With Nils Henkel, the region has lost one of its best chefs and the gastronomic scene is poorer by a real highlight. </In the meantime the Relais & Châteaux Hotel Burg Schwarzenstein has made a statement. As a result, the economic efficiency of the restaurant concept as well as further losses due to the corona virus were at the forefront of the decision.</p>
Michael Teigelkamp, managing partner of the Relais & Châteaux Hotel Burg Schwarzenstein explains: "The decision to part with Nils Henkel and the restaurant SCHWARZENSTEIN was not easy for us. We thank Mr. Henkel for three wonderful years in our hotel. The cooperation with him and his team was always very pleasant. He is one of the best chefs in Germany and it suited him personally as well"
The pressure to economize in the economy has hit luxury gastronomy particularly hard: "An average occupancy of ten guests last year in our gourmet restaurant forced us to make this decision. Due to the Corona crisis and the resulting loss of sales, we are now finally running out of breath", the managing director continues.
A new concept is currently being worked on - casual, versatile and cosmopolitan, the stylish glass pavilion with its breathtaking view over the Rhine valley is soon to be the place to be.
"We have a lot of great ideas and are in active exchange with various consultants and cooks. When the time comes, we will present a new Castle Schwarzenstein experience. Until then, we will initially only open our castle restaurant from Saturday, 16 May 2020", reports Stephanie Teigelkamp about the future orientation of the gastronomy at Burg Schwarzenstein.
More information about Burg Schwarzenstein at https://www.burg-schwarzenstein.de/