Chef Patron Jean-Georges Klein is inspired by some of the greatest culinary masters, like Pierre Gagnaire and Ferran Adriá. However, Klein’s cooking is not as modern as you might think and certainly not molecular. Yes, there are many contemporary elements included, but Chef Klein’s true strength lies in his amazing ability to integrate modern techniques with ingredients from all over the world, into traditional French cuisine. You will have an impeccable combination of both old and new at L’Arnsbourg.
You will have a long drive of one to two hours from just about anywhere before you arrive at a beautiful mansion just by the road. L’Arnsbourg is located in the middle of the Vosges in Alsace. The building was a forestry worker’s house and a hostel for lumberjacks and coal miners around 1900. Jean-Georges Klein’s grandmother, Rose Donnenwirth, turned the property into a family boarding house and the Chef’s mother, Lilly, took the restaurant to the next level as a true gourmet destination.
L’Arnsbourg is a family operation where Lilly ran the kitchen for many years and her son was the Restaurant Manager for about 20 years before he took on his mother’s role in 1987. It is not customary for a Restaurant Manager at the age of 40 to change his career and become a top chef, but that is exactly what has happened at L’Arnsbourg. Jean-Georges Klein does not have any formal cooking training from any school, nor has he been trained by any of the famous chefs. He is self-taught in addition to all his mother has taught him. It is both fascinating and inspiring how great Jean-Georges has become over the years. Today Jean-Georges runs the kitchen and his sister, Cathy, is the Restaurant Manager. In addition, the Chef’s wife, Nicole, is also involved in the business.
You will experience a lovely contrast between the past and the present while at L’Arnsbourg. You might expect the restaurant to be another traditional French cuisine restaurant by simply looking at the house when you arrive, but you understand that it is something different the second you enter the contemporary artfully decorated dining room.
Chef Patron Jean-Georges Klein’s cuisine is constantly changing with surprises which you do not come to expect. The Chef has a wonderful playfulness in his cooking and strives to create something different without losing the touch with his French cooking roots.
Image of Chef Patron Jean-Georges Klein: Courtesy L’Arnsbourg
Written by Andy