A Michelin-Star For Matthew

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A Michelin-Star For Matthew


There are only a handful of events in a person's lifetime that can be considered as life-changing. For me, there are a few instances recently that truly stand out as something monumental… where I actually recall being in that moment thinking to myself "this is unbelievable… this is really something special." The sort of moment where you know that maybe this will never happen again - and thankfully you were able to step outside of yourself for a moment and quietly observe the magic happening at that moment. 

The events recently have to be: getting married, my first gold record, headlining a stadium in Bulgaria in front of about 17.5K people, becoming friends with some of my longtime musical-heroes, my first home purchase, and my first time eating at a Michelin-starred restaurant. 

Two of my dear friends in Germany, Larissa and Kai (Larissa works at Roadrunner Germany, Kai is her boyfriend - a super cool foodie who knows some damn good eats and drink) were coming out to our Munich show; Kai's cousin Jones worked at the time at what they kept telling me was "a pretty damn amazing restaurant." I never truly got to bond with Larissa until the promo trip for In Waves. On that trip, we discovered that her and I, and Kai as well - all loved the truly good stuff in life. We got to know each other over some intensely delicious cocktails and wonderful meals. 

We wrapped the show, Paolo and I quickly showered, and we hopped into a car with Kai, Larissa, and Jones. Arriving at the Mandarin Oriental in Munich, we knew we were in for something really special. The restaurant that Jones worked at at that time was Marks, a one-star Michelin restaurant. Having zero concept of what food at a starred restaurant would be like… we sat bewildered at the fancy spot we found ourself in. 

I started with a beautiful Gin and Tonic to cool the excited nerves. Jones comes by and says we can take a peek into the kitchen… it must be how it feels to be backstage for the first time for a music-fan - I was reserving my giddiness, trying to keep cool as I looked on with awe at the impeccable kitchen - they moved like an organic machine… quietly each executing with surgical precision their task at hand. I thanked the staff for having us, snapped some photos, and headed in. 

Words cannot possibly describe the breadth of the dishes we consumed that night, so I simply leave you with the descriptions and the photos. We initially were expecting a very hefty bill… and no, just because I'm in a semi-successful band doesn't mean we get comped meals often; after the meal - we find that all food was comped and they simply wanted us to pay for the booze. Roadrunner paid for that. So… yeah… that night - (and I rarely do) I felt like a rockstar. 


Mandarin Oriental Marks:

- Gin And Tonic

- Trentino Cabernet 2008

- Assorted Breads

- Carpaccio Of Salmon And Monkfish

- Wonton Of Foie, Foam Of White Truffle And Red Wine, Black Truffles On Top

- Sweet And Sour Soup With Langostino Out Of Fresh Water. Lemon Grass, Leek, Coriander. Shell Soup Based On Thom Tum Guw.

- Milk-Fed Veal With Black Truffle And Stir Fry

- Golden Cassis Raspberry Sorbet

- Southern Austrian Merlot Ice Wine

- House-Made Chocolates

Danke Marks.


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We arrived in Munich and awoke early, knowing we had a big food day ahead of us. Paolo and I met up with Ela and Dennis, and headed out front of the venue to meet with Laurent - a long-time supporter and worker of/for Trivium. Laurent is initially from France, living in Germany. He is responsible for much of the amazingness behind Trivium's internet presence. He has worked alongside Trivium for years and years, helping get our word digital and online - he's an invaluable ally to the Trivium organization, and it was time to grab a bite with him in his old stomping grounds. 

Traveling by foot, train, then foot again - we were able to see much of Munich's old historical architecture and marketplaces. Quickly developing a massive thirst for German beer and a hunger for German pork-product - we ran into the Hofbrauhaus, the restaurant Laurent picked for us today. 

Have I mentioned enough my passionate love-affair with German beers (especially Weiss and Hefeweisen beers)? Well - I love that shit. I find German beer drinkable like water - with a taste like the heavens. Weiss and Hefes? Fuck me that shit is good in Germany. I order a comedically-large Hofbrau Wiesn Marzen. Comedically? Typically.

I like how the Germans do beer. They do it incredible-friggon-tasty-well, and served cold in giant glasses. I'd be having me quite a bit of the golden-elixir. With that tall beer, you need an excuse to drink more of it - so we order:

- 1/2 Knusprig Gebratene bauermente mit apfelblaukraut und kartoffelknodel.

- HB sausage platter with pork sausages, Viennese and pfalzer sausage, on a bed of sauerkraut. 

- Leberkas: baked Bavarian meat loaf from the HB butchery, oven-fresh with home-made potato salad.

- Crispy roasted knuckle of pork in gravy with a grated potato dumpling.

- Basket of bread with pretzels, rolls, house bread.

- Apfelstrudel.

- Kaiserschmarm.

The Bavarian-region of Germany is always associated with pretzels and beer - so we chow down on that stuff first; next come the second-most ubiquitous and typical German/Bavarian-German dish - pork-meat in tube-form. The first two courses disappear quick. It's that comfort/familiar-food that brings our German friends back to childhood pretty quick; and for me and P? Well… we love pretzels and sausage in Germany quite a bit. 

The roast knuckle looks like something that fell off a prehistoric animals' leg. Texturally it has all sorts of interesting things going on: the crispy skin on the outside reminds you of an Asian-style crispy pork-belly, dark-meat and white meat cling to the bone trying to evade our clamping jaws. If you haven't had the chance to have a European grated-potato dumpling - you're missing out. It's like a sticky, giant rice-ball of potato-y starchy goodness; gravy was the hot tub of the leg and ball. Leberkas got Dennis pretty stoked - it's a classic German traditional dish; somewhere between meatloaf and a giant hunk of ham/spam… but tasting better than the latter of course. German potato salad is the not-so-distant relative to the potato salad we see grace many-a-picnic table across America.

I believe the poultry was roasted duck… however, by this point I was so painfully stuffed that it became a game of shoveling more food just for the taste of it. Pornographically indulgent if I do say so myself. Kaiserschmarm was like chopped up soft, giant-pancake bits covered in powdered sugar, served with a magical tart apple-sauce. Apfelstrudel, iconically German - went beautifully with the powdered sugar, cream and whipped cream. But like I said, by this point… we were eating for sport.

German traditional food. Lecker.