At the Wunnenstein motorway service station, six police officers armed with submachine guns are said to have once mistaken Lothar Eiermann for a criminal. The chef Eiermann regularly met with his colleague Eckart Witzigmann from Munich in this parking lot before they set off together towards France to buy things for their restaurants.

Rüdiger Soldt

Political correspondent in Baden-Württemberg.

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    Lothar Eiermann was of course not a terrorist, but he was one of the revolutionaries of German gastronomy in the 1970s. Together with Witzigmann, he was a pioneer of Nouvelle Cuisine in Germany. With him, the “Bear Paw Soup” disappeared from the menu and instead he had wild pheasant served with Calvados cream.

    The chef grew up as the son of a grocery store owner in the Baden town of Stühlingen. He actually wanted to be a surgeon or a priest. But his father's serious illness forced him into a teaching profession. He learned to be a chef in a sanatorium in the southern Black Forest, cooked in a hotel in Hemmenhofen on Lake Constance and in 1968 began working as head rotisseur at the Erbprinz in Ettlingen.

    In 1974 he received his first star

    After an interlude in Scotland, Prince Kraft of Hohenlohe-Öhringen brought him to the Schlosshotel Friedrichsruhe in 1973. In the same year, the first “Gault Millau” with the ten rules for nouvelle cuisine was published in France. Eiermann received his first star in 1974. Critics such as Wolfram Siebeck and Gert von Paczensky quickly discovered the restaurant, and within a very short time Eiermann made the house in Hohenloh into one of the first well-known German gourmet restaurants.

    In 2008, Eiermann hung up the wooden spoon, two years earlier than planned. The Wald- und Schlosshotel Friedrichsruhe in Zweiflingen near Heilbronn had previously been bought and renovated by the screw entrepreneur Reinhold Würth from Künzelsau; Eiermann did not want to get used to the new structures.

    Lothar Eiermann died on Saturday after a serious illness at the age of 78.