Meet Christian Michel, Culinary Director, Villa Kennedy

Rocco Forte Hotels

What are your goals for Villa Kennedy’s culinary arts? 

Rocco Forte Hotels in Germany want to put culinary delights centre stage in a new way, to make dining fun. We fuse Italian and Japanese cuisine, combining the simplicity of Italian cuisine, which is appreciated in Germany, with the ongoing Japanese trend for reduction and product quality. We also emphasise the similarities between the cuisines: Japanese umami, or miso flavour, and Italy’s tomato sauce.

What inspires you in the kitchen? 

I take inspiration from my travels, when dining out and from interesting magazine articles.

What will you eat with your family this Christmas?

I usually work on Christmas Eve, but this year I’m with my family because we’re expecting our first child. Normally we enjoy potato salad and Vienna sausages made from beef and pork on Christmas Eve. But this year we’re having creamed veal goulash with almond broccoli and pretzel dumplings, which are my wife’s favourite.

Recipe - pretzel dumplings

Ingredients for 4 people:

250g pretzels 

250g toast, without crust 

500ml milk 

125g butter 

5 egg yolks 

Salt, pepper

Roasted pine nuts 

5 egg whites

Chives, parsley


Dice the pretzels and toast and pour hot milk over them. Beat the butter with the egg yolk until fluffy, fold into the bread mixture, then season with salt and pepper. Add the chopped pine nuts and fold in the beaten egg whites. Roll into oblong sticks (4-5cm diameter) in cling film and aluminum foil and steam at 90°C to 84°C for 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the dumplings. Leave to cool and place in the fridge. Portion, heat in foaming butter and sprinkle with finely chopped chives and parsley.   

Stay with us in Frankfurt to taste the wonderful flavours of Christian Michel’s culinary creations at Villa Kennedy.