Our clients September 2014

1. Tell us a bit about your house.


Frank Buchholz has run a cooking school, “Kochwerkstatt,” in Mainz-Gonsenheim since 2004. The starred chef de cuisine offers classes on various themes. In 2005, he opened his first restaurant, “Buchholz,” also in the Mainz suburb. Two years later, it was awarded a Michelin star.


At Buchholz, cooking is viewed as a handicraft. Experimental cooking techniques are out of place here. Frank Buchholz prefers to concentrate on traditional, regional cuisine that he frequently presents in new combinations. Subtle, yet rich in contrast, this style is also reflected in the furnishings of the well-kept, historic house. They show a great love for detail. Indoors, a combination of building materials was used: glass meets natural wood; matte metal, old stone walls. Some 80 guests can be seated on four stories. Round, white-clothed tables with minimal decor provide a balanced contrast to comfortable, dark leather chairs. Light streams into the restaurant through the floor-length windows. On balmy summer evenings, guests enjoy dining al fresco on the patio of the courtyard.


“Pleasure” abounds in Buchholz. The cool cellar has space for the 250 wines listed on the wine list. They were carefully selected with heart and soul by restaurant manager Claudia Karnecki. The liquor cabinet houses a virtual treasure-trove of spirits, such as Grappa Romano Levi, fruit brandies from the Stählemühle distillery or brandies in the traditional Tirolean “pincer bottle” from the Rochelt distillery.


A second restaurant, “Bootshaus,” overlooking the winter harbor of Mainz proper, opened in 2011. The latest project, “Frank’s Weinlager,” a small specialty shop, opened early in 2014 opposite Buchholz. In addition to wines – primarily from the region – it sells products made by Buchholz himself and gourmet articles.



2. Tell us a bit about yourself.


Frank Buchholz is a true all-rounder. Nevertheless, he found his place in the Mainz suburb of Gonsenheim. “My adopted home is Mainz!” – where the energetic starred chef, a native of northwestern Germany, is happiest to return after he has completed a catering or shooting assignment. When asked about his hobbies, the answer is brief and to the point: “My family and my staff.” His guests can also feel the friendly atmosphere in the restaurant. Here, everyone knows him simply as “Frank.” Frank Buchholz has fulfilled his dream in Mainz.


Actually, Frank Buchholz didn’t want to become a chef de cuisine, but rather a down-to-earth businessman. When he was 16 years old, he applied for an apprenticeship in a business position in numerous hotels. At that time, though, there were no relevant positions available. Therefore, he tried his luck as a cook, thereby laying the foundation for a very diverse career. He trained a number of years in some of Germany’s most renowned restaurants with chefs like Franz Feckl, Gerd Käfer, Hein Winkler, and Heinz Beck. He developed a passion for refined, good taste; gentle methods of food preparation; and communication with guests. “When I noticed the personal satisfaction I derived from making guests happy with good food, and what all one can accomplish in a kitchen, I didn’t want to do anything else.”


In 1997, at the age of 30, he appeared before an audience of millions of TV viewers for the first time in the cooking show “Kochduell,” a show in which he enthused his audience for ambitious cooking and sophisticated cuisine. In the meantime, he has appeared in numerous food-related TV shows. He was a founding member of the association “the young wild ones,” a group of top, young, German chefs whose goal was to interest people in cooking and polish the image of professional chefs. He is also a member of Slow Food, Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, and Eurotoques. Frank Buchholz is recognized as a pioneer among the creative chefs that stand for unusual compositions and new methods of preparation.



3. What do you particularly enjoy about working with wine?


Today, wine is more than a good companion with food. It enjoys an ever-growing presence in our society and interest continues to grow. Vintners are turning to unconventional methods, are more willing to experiment, and are more open-minded. On the other hand, they remain committed to tradition and returning to their roots. The spectrum of wine offers enormous diversity. Because there’s always something new to discover, it remains a fascinating subject.


 At Buchholz, we primarily serve wines from our region (Rheinhessen, Rheingau, and Pfalz). There are quite a number of Grosse Gewächse from VDP.Grosse Lagen on our wine list, but older vintages also play a significant role. For guest and restaurateur alike, it is wonderfully exciting to find a suitable wine that will create a culinary highlight.



4. How did your contact with Balthasar Ress come about and what do you like about us and our wines?


For generations, Balthasar Ress has numbered among the renowned and best wine estates in the Rheingau. It is known for its reliable quality in all segments. The first contact between Frank Buchholz and Christian Ress took place during a visit to the wineBANK in Hattenheim with a small group of cooking class participants. It included a wine tasting. Not only the quality of the wines sampled convinced Buchholz to add Balthasar Ress wines to his wine list. He was also impressed by the innovative ideas of young entrepreneur Ress.


Frank Buchholz’s motto: “Cuisine should appeal to all the senses.” The same applies to wine.



5. What have you always wanted to tell us as a wine estate? 


It’s always special when vintners are present at events. Recently, for example, Restaurant Buchholz was part of the auxiliary program of the Mainzer Weinbörse trade fair and served a Weinbörse menu. Ress was there and enabled guests to personally meet the vintner, ask questions, and learn more about the estate’s philosophy. It fosters a better understanding of the product. At the same time, it’s important for the regional vintners to drop in to see how the restaurateurs work. After all, we are the ones who are recommending their wines to our guests.



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