An interview with chef Steffen Henssler
Food & Drink
26 January 2021
Founder of ‘GO by Steffen Henssler’
For the last 15 years, Steffen Henssler’s mastery of Japanese cuisine has captured the hearts of every gourmand in Germany and beyond. In December 2020, Rocco Forte Hotels launched an exclusive partnership with ‘GO by Steffen Henssler’ at our historic Villa Kennedy in leafy Sachsenhausen. We’re delighted to be launching ‘GO by Steffen Henssler’ at The Charles Hotel in Munich, where residents and hotel guests alike can enjoy his fresh delicacies by collection, or via room service in the privacy of their own hotel room. Here, we talk to Steffen about his passion for Japanese cuisine and why Munich is the perfect location for his new outpost.
How did you fall in love with cooking?
“Cooking and gastronomy are somehow in the blood of the Henssler family. My grandmother had a restaurant and so did my father when I was a child, so I came into contact with these topics from an early age.”
What is it about Japanese cuisine that excites you?
“A trip to Los Angeles in the early 90s triggered my love for Japanese cuisine. Back then, L.A. was known for Japanese crossover cuisine – for example in the restaurants Koi or Matsuhisa. I really liked the way they cooked in those restaurants and it influenced my culinary style.”
What was your first experience with sushi?
“On the L.A. trip, there was a special moment at the restaurant ‘Sushi on the Rock’ in La Jolla in San Diego. At that time, they had rolls that I had never seen before. One roll that totally blew me away was the ‘Caterpillar Roll’ with lukewarm unagi, avocado topping and teriyaki sauce. I still dream about it today.”
How did your relationship with Rocco Forte Hotels begin?
“We were looking for a location for a pop-up store in Frankfurt for ‘GO by Steffen Henssler’ and were lucky enough to find a contact at Villa Kennedy in Frankfurt. We came to an agreement very quickly and were able to launch the store directly. From the very beginning it was a great success and a great collaboration.”
What do you like most about Munich, and why did you choose to open a business there?
“Munich is one of the most beautiful and most popular cities in Germany and Europe. For a brand like GO by Steffen Henssler, which is on a national growth course, it is an absolute must.”
What inspired the idea behind your takeaway bento boxes, and what type of experience do you hope they will provide?
“The idea behind it was to transport the restaurant visit to your home. On the one hand, of course, through excellent, high-quality food and drinks. But also, through the packaging. It should convey absolute luxury and not feel like the typical ‘out-of-home’ tableware.”
How did you spend your lockdown? Did the time spark ideas for any new adventures or skills you would like to pursue?
“In lockdown, my social media format ‘Henssler's Quick Number’ went through the roof, and despite the current situation GO by Steffen Henssler is still growing.”
When travel restrictions lift, what is the first trip you will be taking and why?
“Straight to the Maldives. Sun, sun, sun!”
What advice would you give anyone dreaming of becoming a sushi chef?
“Always be passionate about what you do and don't think that everything is already there. You always have to stay hungry and develop things further.”
GO by Steffen Henssler is open daily from 9am to 5pm in partnership with The Charles Hotel in Munich. To find out more about this Rocco Forte Hotels exclusive partnership, please contact our teams below.
The Charles Hotel in Munich
Email email@example.com or call +49 89 544 5550
Villa Kennedy in Frankfurt
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +49 69 717 12 1430