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Chef Hans 

Chef at The Chopping Block since: 2014

Favorite class to teach: Any hands-on class or Knife Skills.

Training/education: Hospitality Culinary School Pegnitz/Germany

Cooking since: Professionally since 1990

Favorite childhood food experience: Making and decorating cookies with my grandmother.

What made you want to become a chef? Family inspirations: the ladies in my family are all great cooks.

What is your signature dish? Any good home cooked meal.

What are the 5 ingredients you can't live without? Salt, pepper, paprika, olive oil, vinegar and mustard. I realize that's six.

What do you love about cooking? The creativity, and experimenting with different ingredients.

When you're creating a new recipe, what influences and inspires you? I visit the farmers' markets often, eat locally, and keep up with trends in magazines, restaurants and hotels.

What advice would you give a new cook? Work hard, listen, and don't be afraid to make mistakes.

What are you doing when you're not cooking? Reading, exercising at the gym, listening to classical music, going to concerts and watching movies.

Describe your perfect evening. Cook a delicious meal, and unwind with a nice bottle of wine.

If you had friends in from out of town, where would you take them to eat? Any good local restaurant.

Where are you from? Bavaria, Germany

What was your favorite vacation? Probably my first trip to Paris with my sister some 24 years ago. We still talk about it.

What are your hobbies? Reading, listening to classical music and traveling.

What is your favorite band? The Scorpions

What is your favorite sports team? Bayern Muenchen Soccer Team

If you could have dinner with one person, who would it be? The music director of the Chicago Symphony Riccardo Muti.

What are your guilty pleasures? Chocolate and champagne

Who is your favorite celebrity chef? Claire Robinson

What 5 tools should every new cook have in the kitchen?

  • Chef's knife
  • Sharpening steel
  • Bench scraper
  • Spatula
  • Decent Frying Pan

What resources would you suggest for Chopping Block students?

  • The Chopping Block's website, of course
  • Your local library

List three of your favorite tips or techniques you use in the kitchen.

  • Braising meat
  • Roasting vegetables
  • Poaching a perfect egg
Hans' Favorite Tool

RosleFlatWhiskThe Rosle flat whisk is a great tool, and the one I turn to when I make a sauce. This sturdy whisk makes the process of creating a roux with melted butter and flour really easy. It's a tool that I find extremely helpful in making a good, consistent sauce. It's also dishwasher safe and like all Rosle products, comes with a lifetime warranty.