Bernd Knöller’s determination and creativity at the helm of the Riff restaurant has earned him the most prestigious award available in international cuisine: a Michelin Star. Knöller left Germany 18 years ago to take up residence in Valencia and begin his career in the world of gastronomy.
What led you to enter the world of gastronomy?
The opportunity to be creative, to handle quality products and to be my own boss.
What is your opinion on Valencian cuisine?
A cuisine which is growing in prestige and has finally freed itself of the slavery imposed by the paella. Having said that, my favourite dish is paella, made with good quality extra virgin olive oil, free-range chicken and saffron from La Mancha, and without food colouring, of course.
Did you ever think that you would obtain a recognition such as a Michelin star in your adoptive city?
Right from the beginning, we have been always striven to create fine cuisine made with excellent raw materials, and we have never stopped learning. The Michelin star is a consequence of this.
What attracted you about Valencia enough to move here?
For a chef, the proximity of the Mediterranean Sea is fantastic, the weather is not bad and, furthermore, my birthday is on March 19th.
And how do you rate the experience of living in this city?
The Valencians have supported me since my arrival 18 years ago and I am very grateful.
How would you describe Valencia in a nutshell?
The weather, orange trees, the River…
A place to lose yourself in?
In the bars in El Carmen with good friends.
What would you take as a souvenir to remember Valencia?
How would you describe the foreign customers who visit your restaurant?
Polite, open-minded, delighted to find that the menu has not been translated into English and German (we translate the menu ourselves for customers, as it is constantly changing).
What do foreign clients find most surprising?
Our creativity, fresh fish, and good value for money.