Around the World With Chef Tim Schulte

Lured to Vancouver by Bauhaus owner and former filmmaker Uwe Boll, German-trained Tim Schulte aims to make an impression on the Canadian food scene.

After Vancouver’s Bauhaus lost its founding executive chef, Stefan Hartmann, to the upscale food truck company Tacofino, owner Uwe Boll, who had a long career as a filmmaker before becoming a restaurateur, made a remarkable decision. Last year, Boll appointed co-executive chefs, asking David Mueller and Tim Schulte to share the position. Schulte, who grew up in a small German town outside Cologne, had worked at Bauhaus as a sous chef in 2015 and decided to give up his gig in Australia for the opportunity. “I kinda fell in love with this country when I was here three years ago and thought I’d love to come back,” says Schulte, who was awarded Best Chef of the Year in Germany in 2013. Just a year into his Bauhaus tenure, though, Schulte’s getting ready to take the restaurant’s concept, German-inspired global cuisine, to Toronto. The as-yet-unnamed Bauhaus spinoff is expected to open spring 2019. “I’ve never been to Toronto, but I am really excited about it. It’s way bigger, there’s more going on, it’s more multicultural and people are more open to new things.”

In this interview, Chef Schulte, shares with us through instagram, his favourite ingredients and experiences around the world.

This is me and two colleagues, Johannes, who is Swiss German, and Brody, who is from Australia. We’re very international—there’s not a lot of Canadians here. I can’t remember what we’re making. I’m pretty calm in the kitchen because I really got treated like shit for a long time back when I was younger. I was always telling myself, “I’m never going to treat people like that.” But sometimes I’m too chill and then I get hit in the face for that.

David Muller and I were made co-executive chefs last year. It can work well because we can rely on each other and not be worried if we take days off. We have each other’s back. Nowadays, a lot of head chefs burn out, but we can share our work. Sometimes it’s not easy to find the same approach, but it works out. I think I’m a little bit more the creative one; it’s 60-40 most of the time.

In Germany, white asparagus is a traditional ingredient in the springtime. We’ll usually serve a white asparagus soup, hot. But it was warm outside, so I reinvented the dish, turning it into a white asparagus mousse. Underneath there’s slightly blanched and marinated asparagus, and a cold, clear asparagus and ham broth. The idea is to mash the mousse into everything else to have a cold, crisp interpretation of a soup.

That’s a wild duck from here in British Columbia. One of our customers who comes in once a month to try some of our nice wines got it from a hunter and brought it in for me. I always make sure we source our food from good farms, and I’m pretty sure this one had a good life, living wild in nature. We served it with lots of mushrooms.

That’s the chef Harald Wohlfahrt, who came from Germany to collaborate with us. [Wohlfahrt’s legendary restaurant, Schwarzwaldstube, maintained three Michelin stars for 25 years under his leadership.] He had recently retired and our owner had visited his restaurant, so he invited him to come over and he said yes. He was really unexpectedly relaxed and nice. We had a lot of fun with him. We did French cooking that night. He gave me advice about my future, that I really have to focus on my next two to three years to push my career.

Those are grasshoppers from my first trip to Thailand, sprayed with a chili-soy sauce. I’ve never cooked them myself but I’ve eaten them a lot. I was just in Mexico City, where they use a lot of bugs in their foods. I went to go to Pujol [ranked one of the world’s best restaurants]. The first few days were awkward— we didn’t know where to go and people didn’t speak English. But once we started using Uber, it was very nice.

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