Itâ€™s been an absolutely amazing, exhausting, enjoyable visit to Germany. The kind folks at the Quality Hotel in Gotha made us feel welcome and appreciated as we prepared for and participated in the 2008 International Culinary Olympics in Erfurt Germany. The hotel chef and the hotel staff were extremely generous and kind to us.
We are very pleased with the performance of the Midwest Culinary Olympic Team as we earned two bronze medals in this competition. Additionally, Rick Potter & Alan Neace coached the Guatemalan team in their first-ever International Culinary Olympic participation, and the team earned a silver medal. Congratulations to the Guatemalan team and to Chefs Potter and Neace!
After the competition in Erfurt was over and we packed our equipment for shipping back to the United States and cleaned our preparation room, we celebrated in the hotelâ€™s lobby with the hotel staff and members of the other teams, including folks from the Swedish, Slovakian, and Canadian teams. We had a great evening and enjoyed the Olympic spirit of camaraderie and cooperation with the other teams. Hanging out in the lobby and conversing with the other teams will be remembered as a highlight of the trip.
The next morning on October 23 (mentioned because it was my birthday!) I drove the team from Gotha to Munich. We were tired when we arrived after the long van trip and checking into the hotel, but our energy was bolstered at the original Hofbrauhaus, where we enjoyed traditional German food and beverages. It was a really good evening, though it ended rather early.
The next morning, we checked out of our hotel and stopped for a few photographs then went back to the shops near the Hofbrauhaus and shopped for various items and a few gifts to bring back to the States. There was a knife shop in the little row of shops, and a couple of us found nice cooking knives. Also, there was a terrific little gelato place, so Rick & I got gelatos. We couldnâ€™t resist another visit to the Hofbrauhaus before leaving Munich.
After our lunch, we found our way back to the van and headed for Frankfurt where we will sleep in the airport hotel in order to be ready to catch our plane in the early afternoon. Brian and I got the van cleaned out and our final packing done.
Tomorrow, we get on the plane back to Cincinnati. It has been a wonderful, inspiring trip, but it will be nice to get home again.
There is still more to write, including an article that reveals our platters and plates from the competition. You can expect that â€“ and more â€“ in the very near future.