Thomas Schanz: Ultra-fine dining in the heart of the Moselle
Since its establishment in 2011, Thomas Shanz’s restaurant has earned three Michelin stars for its bold reinterpretation of classic French and German cuisine.
Can you describe your restaurant in a few words?
The schanz.restaurant is a small and refined restaurant in Piesport, a village in the heart of the Moselle region. In recent years, the village has evolved into a culinary Mecca, with schanz.restaurant as its beating heart. The restaurant is situated in a former winegrower’s house built by my parents in 1978. That’s what makes this setting so special to me — I grew up surrounded by these valleys and vineyards. Part of what motivates me as a chef is to honour this rich heritage by sourcing local ingredients of the highest quality and using them to create new and exciting flavour combinations. My passion for gastronomic innovation contrasts nicely with the rustic setting of the restaurant. At schanz.restaurant, the old and new combine to create a one-of-a-kind dining experience.
“The key to culinary success is having your own signature.” — Thomas Shanz
Which emotions do you want to convey through your cuisine?
Above all, I want to offer people an experience — engaging, sometimes unexpected, with flavours on many levels. And, of course, perfectly prepared and delicately presented. This relentless quest for perfection has been with me throughout my career. It’s what pushes me to experiment with unexpected textures, such as passion fruit mousse, crunchy shrimp, or caviar balls with melon. Another example is our red mullet with caviar and banana swimming in a cardamom sauce. My signature dish is the golden egg with truffle — a light egg mousse topped off with fresh truffle shavings. It perfectly captures my philosophy as a chef: each dish must have finesse, but also personality and expressiveness. The same goes for our selection of wines. Our sommelier, Aleks Petrovic, is an expert at pairing the perfect wine to each dish while taking into account each individual’s preferences.
What’s your secret behind achieving triple-star status?
Besides impeccable craftsmanship and top notch products, the key to success is having your own signature. You need to offer a unique idea and style. But that doesn’t just happen overnight. At the start of my culinary career, I learned from the region's top chefs, such as Klaus Erfort at the Gästehaus Erfort, a three-star restaurant in Saarbrücken. In 2005, I became sous-chef at Helmut Thieltges' Waldhotel Sonnora restaurant in Dreis. Thanks to these experiences, when I finally decided to go back to my family roots and open schanz.restaurant in 2011, I already had a very clear gastronomical vision. One year after we launched, the restaurant received its first Michelin star. In 2015, we got the second one. Then, in 2022, I was awarded Chef of the Year in Germany by Gault&Millaut and schanz.restaurant was awarded its third Michelin star.