Executive Chef of the Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow
Rainer Sigg is 37 and is Executive Chef at the Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow. His many admirers include: Gerhard Schroeder, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Michael Jackson, Pierce Brosnan, Franz Beckenbauer, Pele, Bryan Adams. We asked him for The Last Word.
When did you come to Russia?
I came to Moscow in June 2005, from the Hotel Adlon in Berlin.
How did you start your career, and what have been the highpoints so far?
I started studying as a butcher for three years. I worked for three years at the world-famous gourmet restaurant “Aubergine” in Munich, and became Deputy Head Chef under the star chef Eckart Witzigmann. From 1996 till 2002 I worked as Chef de Cuisine and Restaurateur in the restaurant “Top Air” in Stuttgart, where I managed to renew its Michelin Star.
Your professional awards are impressive; could you please tell our readers something about them?
I would like to be modest here but, seeing that you asked me: I was awarded the Five Star Diamond Award for exceptional culinary capacities for three consecutive years in 2003, 2004 and 2005; and the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences described me as, “One of the Finest Chefs Worldwide.”
What is your philosophy about food?
Food should be good, fresh and natural; so that the original taste of the dish is unchanged. In other words, if you can close your eyes and know exactly what you are eating, then the aim is achieved!
We have been told that here in the Baltschug you brought to life a new cooking philosophy?
Well, for me cooking is a work of art. I like adding innovative touches to the style and substance of the Baltschug’s classical menus, integrating influences from Germany and all around the world; taking what I call a modern twist on the classical approach.
What is your aim here at the Baltschug in Moscow?
My top priority is to train my Russian team to use the diversity of cooking methods and techniques to create truly sophisticated dishes. Also, every day I try to learn something new myself.
Do you use Russian traditional cuisine in your cooking?
The Hotel Baltschug is an international hotel with cosmopolitan guests. In my menus I want to offer them the best of Russian traditional dishes; those which are so famous: Caviar and blini, Beef Stroganoff, borsch, a wide range of zakuski. Every guest wants the best of international and Russian cuisine.