A blaze tore through a Black Forest restaurant early on Sunday, wiping out one of Germany’s foremost culinary institutions.
The fire rapidly destroyed the three-Michelin-star Schwarzwaldstube (Black Forest parlor), near the town of Baiersbronn.
Fire officials said nobody was badly hurt in the blaze, which had still not been fully extinguished by midday on Sunday.
However, one hotel guest was understood to have required medical attention for smoke inhalation. The cause of the blaze remained unclear on Sunday.
The restaurant has held on to its three-star reputation with Michelin since 1993, longer than any other restaurant in Germany.
Michelin describes the restaurant as a “real institution” that remains true to the classic French tradition of cooking while offering “its own modern twist to every dish.”
Proprietors and staff said they would look to the future.
“Of course it hurts a lot,” said Heiner Finkbeiner, whose family own the restaurant and adjacent Hotel Traube Tonbach of which it is part. Finkbeiner said he was relieved that no one had been hurt. “Everything else can be rebuilt,” he said.
Head chef Torsten Michel said the losses were “tragic” but struck a similar note. “In the end, it is only a building,” he said.
Former head chef Harald Wohlfahrt, who worked for the hotel’s owners for decades, expressed shock. “It feels as though my living room has burned down,” Wohlfahrt told the German daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
Only 10 restaurants in Germany are able to boast three Michelin stars, including another one – the Restaurant Bareiss – also in Baiersbronn.