Director: Guillaume Claude
Guenter Seeger's career has spanned a lifetime and the globe. He acquired a passion for freshness and quality as a child growing up in his parents' wholesale fruit and vegetable business in Baden-Baden, Germany. With his current restaurant venture, Seeger's, he remains committed to the integrity of the ingredients.
Seeger's traditional European restaurant education started with an apprenticeship at age 13 at the Hotel Funk near his Black Forest home. At 16, he passed both the written and practical cooking tests and went on to take his first job in Switzerland. For ten years he worked in the Swiss towns of Interlaken, St. Moritz, and Lucerne, where he earned a culinary diploma from the Hotel School. He returned home to work in the family business for three more years.
In 1977, Seeger opened his own restaurant in Pforzheim, Germany, the gateway of the Black Forest. Seeger conceived innovative new ways to recreate traditional German dishes. But more importantly, he encouraged local farmers to grow his special ingredients. Pforzheim natives weren't ready for the way he transformed their beloved regional fare or for the exotic ingredients he introduced. Spaetzle cooked with truffles, cabbage barely cooked at all and zucchini with blossoms still attached did not immediately win them over. However, people came from other cities and other countries. And, in 1978, they came from the Michelin guide to grant him one star - no small feat for any restaurant outside of France. The world seemed to pay attention and so, finally, did the Pforzheim locals.
In 1984, Seeger was persuaded to go to Washington, D.C. to accept the position of Executive Chef of The Regent Hotel's dining room. He later became a consultant for The Jefferson Hotel. In 1985, Horst Shulze, then General Manager of the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead, enticed Seeger to Atlanta to revolutionize the menu for The Dining Room. Seeger far exceeded the challenge. He placed The Dining Room on the culinary map, garnering the Mobil Five Star Award, the AAA Five Diamond Award, and the "Triple Crown" Award.
In 1997, Chef Seeger left the Ritz-Carlton to open a new restaurant appropriately named Seeger's in the upscale Buckhead section of Atlanta. The restaurant is a perfect reflection of the man - an eccentric mixture of Old World dining traditions and New Age fashions, encased in an armor of German discipline.
Guenter Seeger is a bit of a time traveler. While he loves ultra-contemporary, sometimes almost futuristic design, he has never let go of a not-so-distant past where every villager had seasonal access to the freshest fruits, vegetables and livestock. During his early years in Atlanta, Seeger encouraged local producers to grow specialty fruits, vegetables and herbs; to bake artisanal bread; to make boutique cheeses; and to raise high end game, meat and poultry. From these contacts, Seeger became a founding force behind the emergence of the Georgia Organic Grower's Association.
Guenter Seeger… An original thinker who resists all forms of classification.
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