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Seven questions for star chef Nelson Müller

"My job as a chef is very personal, so to say a matter close to my heart"

He cooks gourmet food that has earned a Michelin star, runs two restaurants in Essen, a cookery school, and a catering business, appears on television shows, and has a passion for singing – meet star chef Nelson Müller. He speaks about his talents in an interview with the Nagel-Group.

Nelson Müller is a star chef with Ghanaian roots. A native of Stuttgart, Nelson Müller has already appeared on television shows like Grill den Henssler, Die Küchenschlacht, ZDFzeit, and Stadt, Land, Lecker.

How often do you take the time to cook in your own restaurants?

Cooking is my passion. It is very important to me to be physically present in my restaurants. I try and go to my restaurants after finishing a show for television to see if the guests and my employees are happy.

You are a native of Stuttgart, how come you decided to open two restaurants in the Ruhr region?

I came to Essen in 2001 to work at the Hotel Résidence, a two Michelin stars restaurant run under the guidance of Henri Bach. Essen quickly became the centre of life and I opened my own cookery school and my two restaurants Schote and Müllers auf der Rü. The conditions were just right.

What inspired you to be a cook and an entrepreneur?

My job as a chef is very personal, so to say a matter close to my heart. I became a businessman through circumstances. Without basic understanding of business one can not manage anything properly.

What criteria in terms of quality are important to you when cooking?

Even the best of cooks can not make anything decent out of bad ingredients. The ingredients are at the heart of every dish. My guests expect gourmet cuisine at its finest. I therefore pay particular attention to quality and absolute freshness.

What makes a perfect dish?

In my opinion, a perfect dish means every ingredient is cooked to perfection. The individual components on the plate should be in harmony, and it should look beautiful when you plate the dish. This is the challenge I face everyday and one which I really enjoy.

You are not only a star chef but also a passionate musician. How often do you entertain your employees with your singing?

I travel a lot and need a balance, which I find in music. I can just relax with music. Unfortunately, the daily grind doesn't leave much time for singing. However, my staff get to experience some of it on SoulSunday at Müllers.

How important is the team behind you?

My employees are very important because all of this would not function without a good team. We have regular meetings to make sure the working environment stays positive and everyone gets to have their say. Team building activities play an important role in this process.


The chef from Fissler Post (restaurant) in Stuttgart recognised Nelson Müller's talent early on in 1996. He sent him to train under Holger Bodendorf, a fellow star chef in Sylt. Müller completed his training in the gourmet restaurant Veneto. After training he left for the Timmendorf Beach. He gathered more experience in restaurant Orangerie at the Maritim Hotel for two years.

2001 Nelson Müller's culinary journey led him to the gourmet restaurant Résidence in Essen, where he worked under the guidance of Henri Bach. In 2007, the now 37-year old decided to forge his own path. He opened the cookery school Food & Flavour. Two years later he opened the restaurant Schote in Essen. Müller was awarded his first Michelin star in 2011. Two years later Henri Bach, Müller's mentor took over the management of the restaurant Schote and his cookery school. Since his first restaurant had become such a big success, Nelson Müller opened a second restaurant in Essen in 2014, the bistro Müllers auf der Rü.

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