Paul Stradner, Chef at Villa René Lalique
Since 2002, Paul Stradner, a native of Austria, has worked at some of the finest restaurants in Germany and eastern France. After seven years at the Schwarzwaldstube (three MICHELIN stars) at Hotel Traube Tonbach in the Black Forest, he decided to join chef Jean-Georges Klein at the Arnsbourg in Baerenthal (Moselle). Three years later, he was ready to carve out his own culinary identity, taking charge of the kitchens at Brenners Park Hotel & Spa, the famous five-star establishment in Baden-Baden (Germany) that is a member of the prestigious Oetker Collection. His talent was rewarded with two stars by Guide Michelin within a few months of his arrival in Baden-Baden, making him one of the youngest chefs in Germany to achieve this distinction. In 2016, Gault & Millau awarded him 18 points and lauded him as a “rising star” in Germany. But he felt that his apprenticeship had still not run its course, and the following year he rejoined his mentor Jean-Georges Klein, by now presiding in the restaurant at Villa René Lalique, which opened its doors in September 2015.
The values and DNA of the Villa struck a chord with him, and he realized that he was most at home in a family enterprise with a personal touch. Since 2020, he has gradually taken over the chef’s apron as proud successor to the man who has been such an inspiration to him.
Jean-Georges Klein remains as consultant chef at Villa René Lalique, whose development he has overseen for a number of years.
Jean-Georges Klein, consultant Chef at Villa René Lalique
Chef Jean-Georges Klein took charge of the restaurant at Villa René Lalique when it launched on 18 September 2015. On 1 February 2016, just over three months after opening, Villa René Lalique and its chef were awarded two stars by Guide Michelin. This accolade bears testimony to the quality and consistency of the culinary delights offered by chef Jean-Georges Klein in charge of the establishment’s kitchens.
After studying hotel management in Strasbourg from 1967 to 1969, Klein became
head waiter at gourmet restaurant owned by his family. A self-taught Chef, he served as a head waiter until the age of 40 before applying his passion and perfectionism to cookery. After taking over the family restaurant, he won his first Michelin star in 1988, his second in 1998 and – the supreme accolade – his third in 2002. Two years later, Jean-Georges was nominated ‘Chef of the Year’ by the Champérard fine dining guide. The Schlemmer Atlas (German equivalent of the Michelin Guide) followed suit; then the Bottin Gourmand directory awarded him a fourth star. His dishes are bold but minimalist: “Every day, I try out unlikely combinations and contrasts. I experiment and accept certain risks…”. His cuisine is highly colourful, constantly evolving, resolutely refined and rich in contrasts of appearance and taste. It is a cuisine that juxtaposes tastes to surprise his diners’ palates.