Chef Sven Elverfeld and his Aqua restaurant were the latest addition to Germany's three-star landscape. The restaurant is located in the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Wolfsburg directly in the Volkswagen Autostadt. Elverfeld creates modern European cuisine with a local twist including especially seafood items, such as flounder, as one of the staples of Northern German cooking. For more information, visit www.restaurant-aqua.com
Restaurant Amador in Langen, just south of Frankfurt, offers an unexpected culinary adventure. Chef Juan Amador focuses on reinventing classical Basque and Catalan cuisine in the heart of Germany by using local products. He therefore creates a blend of the two worlds and also does not shy away from taking his twist on regional classics from Frankfurt, such as the "Gruene Sosse," an herb-cream sauce most often served on potatoes. For more information, visit www.restaurant-amador.de.
The town of Bergisch-Gladbach near Cologne and Düsseldorf is a center of exceptional cooking. The two castle-hotels, Bensberg and Lerbach, both feature not only exceptional comfort, but also three-star cuisine. Restaurant Vendome in castle hotel Bensberg is run by chef Joachim Wissler, who focuses on new German cuisine, showcasing the ingredients and the light side of German cooking. For more information, visit www.schlossbensberg.com.
In castle-hotel Lerbach, Chef Nils Henkel took over the gourmet restaurant from his mentor Dieter Mueller and kept the three-Michelin-star restaurant at its best. Henkel uses only local ingredients, such as farm raised meats or herbs from the castle garden, putting an emphasis on seasonal menus. For more information, visit www.schlosshotel-lerbach.com.
In the wine region along the River Mosel in West Germany, the Waldhotel Sonnora, a half an hour away from Germany's oldest city of Trier, the family-run hotel is embedded in fairy-tale like woods. Chef Helmut Thieltges presents classical French cuisine and the extensive wine cellar features among others the best local wines of the region. For more information, visit www.gourmetresidenzen.net.
In one of Germany's smallest states, right on the border to France, the Gaestehaus Erfort in Saarbruecken has achieved international acclaim and three Michelin stars. Chef Klaus Erfort focuses on the authenticity of the high-class ingredients. For more information, visit www.relaischateaux.com.
Only 30 minutes north of Saarbruecken, another culinary gem is Victor's Gourmet Restaurant in the castle-hotel Berg, run by Christina Bau who offers international cuisine. The menu is changed constantly and the guest is surprised daily by new variations. For more information, visit www.schlossberg-nennig.de.
The village of Baiersbronn in the Black Forest features two three-star Michelin Restaurants -- the Schwarzwaldstube and the Restaurant Barreiss. The Schwarzwaldstube in the hotel Traube Tonbach by Chef Harald Wolfarth features a great and sophisticated cuisine. For more information, visit www.traube-tonbach.de. A few minutes away, Chef Claus-Peter Lump showcases his style in the Restaurant Barreiss also focusing on great, if possible regional ingredients with a clean presentation. For more information, visit www.bareiss.com.
For general destination information, visit www.germany.travel
Photo: Restaurant 44 in Berlin (In 2007, Berlin chef Tim Raue of Restaurant 44 was named Gault Millau Germany's Chef of the Year)