Michael & Thorsten &
|American Dream Cuisine
|Kaefer Haus - Oktoberfest
|In Munich, Germany
'Unrated but Worth a Visit'
The Ultimate Award:
Stars and Stripes
|Thorsten enjoyed showing
me around the grounds and as we searched for the Kaefer Haus we couldn't
help but marvel at the tremendous variety of local fast foods and the selections
of beers available at every corner. We wound our way around the tents and
amusement facilities stationed there until we found ourselves at the entrance
to the establishment we were looking for.
Michael Kaefer is well known in Germany as somewhat of an entrepreneur and
head of the global company call Kaefer Feinkost, whose special expertise
is arranging events from an exclusive intimate dinner for two all the way
up to epicurean dining for 10,000 anywhere in the world. We caught up with
him soon after arriving at the door, but every time we managed to start
up a conversation, we had to move to let somebody pass as they were in the
process of serving approximately 10,000 discerning patrons on this particular
Michael invited us to sit with him in the main dining room which was tastefully
decked out in the traditional old fashioned elegant Bavarian wood trimmed
décor. Even though each table had been reserved ahead of time some
for as much as a year, Michael assured us that the American Dream Team was
of course always welcomed even on such short notice. He began to explain
to us his philosophy of a successful operation: well prepared gourmet comfort
food at a reasonable price delivered in a reasonable time, in other words
good value. It was obvious that his formula was a winning one considering
the sheer volume of people scurrying back and forth all around us, many
of them from all over the world.
was time to sample some of the local specialties that the Kaefer Haus had
to offer. Michael recommended a 'fleisch braetl' for Thorsten to try as
this was a sampling of various meats such as duck breast, cured aged ham
and of course 'wurst' along with hard boiled egg, pickle, radishes and a
hunk of black farmer's bread. For me we decided that I could try the 'kaiserschmarren',
a sort of egg rich pancake that has been chopped up and sprinkled with powdered
sugar and served with a sweet fruit compote made from plums. WOW!
Thorsten Piosczyk &
|And what would all that food be without
a couple of giant sized liters of fresh brewed Oktoberfest beer.
Thorsten needed no excuse to find the most beautiful girl in traditional
costume to pose for a picture with the beers only this time it was
Michael Kaefer's wife Sabine a former fashion model.
Good taste Thorsten!
|By this time it had become almost
impossible to remain in the dining room as many more happy patrons began
filling up the tables and so we made a move for the kitchen. Michael was
proud of this part of the operation more so than the front of the house
as the necessity for assembly line -like techniques was essential and after
many years of operation well perfected. The Executive Chef Klaus Geimann
greeted us over the din of the well oiled machine hitting on all cylinders
and made an effort to be heard.
|He assured us that the volume of
food that gets produced in his kitchen does not mean that the quality
or taste has to suffer. We could certainly attest to that since our
own experience was one of inspiring satisfaction.
Our curiosity peaked as our host allowed us to photograph actual orders
of food being set up for delivery to the guests before being sent
selections that we photographed all had one thing in common: they were well
prepared, earthy and simple fare sometimes called comfort food back home.
The pictured dish consisted of roast
duckling with red cabbage, potato pancake and fresh made apple sauce.
In the center was a small cruet with the pan drippings ready for dipping
with a hunk of your favorite 'bauernbrot' or farmer's bread.
|A lot of Bavarian food can trace
its tradition back to the time when the people lived off the land
literally by eating the wild foods of the forest and prepare them
freshly each day at home.
The loin of venison pictured on the left is one of the favorite foods
of the hunters of Bavaria past and present. This filet was grilled,
sliced and served on top of 'spaetszle', a sort of gnocchi made from
egg and flour.
|Thousands of people pass through
the doors of the Kaefer Haus each day and the food remains consistently
good to the gustatory satisfaction of the masses. Of course what could possibly
go better with all this earthy, old fashioned country food than the national
beverage of the land, beer.
|Thorsten figured it
out right away that it would take an awfully special beverage to accommodate
special flavors of the Kaefer Haus menus.
The beverage of choice was a 'no-brainer' of course since at this
time of year, more beer was being consumed here at the fairgrounds
than in some small countries during the course of a year.
Since Thorsten never does anything in a simple manner like just ordering
a beer from the waitress, he called her over and issued a serious
|"How many liters of beer can you
hold at one time?" he dared and promised to drink them all if she
could hold ten or more.
It was obvious to everyone but Thorsten that this time he may have
met his match.
It seems that he picked on one of the
most experienced employees at the Kaefer Haus who promptly rushed
away to make him drink his words and returned with ten nicely foamed
Oktoberfest drafts ready for consumption holding approximately 40
pounds and smiling no less!
|It was very exciting to be in the
midst of such a bee hive of activity and see things from the perspective
of behind the scenes with the well-known owner himself, Michael Kaefer.
Everyone that we spoke to in Germany knew about this legendary center for
celebration and although many have tried to get in for years without success,
it seems that they just keep on trying.
Lomitola & Thorsten Piosczyk
|It was time to move on and Thorsten
suggested that we find another fun filled location that we might be
able to sit down with some people to have a few 'Lowenbraus'. We walked
from tent to tent observing thousands of well behaved people mostly
complete strangers, sitting next to each other with only one thing
in common, that is to enjoy the moment with your neighbor and your
friends. Our biggest dilemma was where to sit and as we moved through
the crowd the sound of Bavarian Um-pah music and the sight of people
dancing on the tables filled us with joy as we tried to figure out
who might be the most fun to be with for a few brews.
felt way too overdressed for the occasion since we had just finished our
wonderful event at the Kaefer Haus but some party goers motioned us to sit
with them and the two of us borrowed some hats to have our picture taken.
smiles tell the whole story!
| by John Lomitola
& Thorsten Piosczyk
Editor-in-Chief: Ingrid Lemme