01 Mar 2022

Creating a VIP at-home Dining Experience with Stefan Pappert, German Chefs Catering

Creating a VIP at-home Dining Experience with Stefan Pappert, German Chefs Catering

Hotel, Restaurant & Catering talks to German Chefs Catering Co-Founder Stefan Pappert about creating a VIP home dining experience, charity work and reducing food waste.

Stefan Pappert makes what he does sound very simple and, suitably enough for a German chef, very logical. Over the course of 2020 he oversaw the launch a new high-end catering business, cooked thousands of meals for charity and advocated for the use of smart catering and kitchen equipment to reduce food waste.

It all got started with a phone call in March 2020, just as the Covid-19 lockdown began.

“Mesut Özil called me saying ‘can you cook, to give food to people?’” Pappert explains. “In less than one week we’d set up a charity.”

That would be German footballer Mesut Özil who, in addition to his skill on the pitch, has become known for his generous charitable giving and ownership of London coffee chain 39 Steps Coffee.

Pappert already had a football-adjacent culinary background before arriving in London, having been a caterer at the Brazil and South Africa World Cups, but it was in the UK capital that he began to make the connections that would define the next stages of his career.

Specifically, it was at the Landmark Hotel in Marylebone. Pappert had joined the hotel in 2016 and one day found himself catering a 50-person event attended by well-known figures including Jose Mourinho, Pepe Guardiola and a number of German players, happy to find a German chef in London.

“They took me to a Wembley final,” continues Pappert. “I spoke to the head chef at Wembley who showed me his kitchen and I was so impressed I quit my job! From there word of mouth was really quick: there’s a German in the stadium.”

In addition to taking on the role of Lead Chef at Wembley Stadium’s Three Lions restaurant, Pappert became Chef for Arsenal football club’s box-level corporate hospitality, and made close connections with many of the German players who passed through.

Fast forward three years and, like most in the hospitality industry, Pappert found himself suddenly unable to do his job due to the Covid-19 lockdown. In partnership with Mesut Özil and working from the footballer’s Knightsbridge coffee shop, Pappert and his team began to cook for charities and communities in the local area. At its peak the charity served 50,000 pax across a four-day period, with a group consisting partly of Özil’s own management team.

The pivot to takeaway meals and the enforced break from the busy Wembley kitchens also provided an opportunity to launch Pappert’s new business venture – German Chefs Catering. With his connections in the footballing and foodservice world, he established a new VIP takeaway experience designed with a premium client base in mind.

At each stage of the food delivery process, Pappert was looking for ways to perfect the experience for his customers. Partnering with Swedish company ScanBox, he could ensure the food stayed at exactly the right temperature from kitchen to table.

German Chefs Catering worked with the London black cab community to transport deliveries, and used Wembley suppliers to provide reusable cutlery and plates, doing away with disposable plastic alternatives.

London and LA-based luxury brand OnlyRoses (another German-owned business) provided atmospheric details such as flowers, candles and tableware, while South Tyrolian brand Lieselehof provided the wine menu.

“It’s the highest winery in Europe,” explains Pappert. “There is more colour and the sun is higher concentrated. The wine grapes are better quality; they have to survive the weather so they’re stronger. It’s one of the best wines I’ve tried.”

Pappert has a growing community of partner businesses and chefs, includes Maxim Schulte, the 11th Head Bartender of The Savoy’s American Bar and creator of the bespoke cocktail menu offered by German Chefs Catering. This range of partners means the company can offer a wide range of culinary choices to its customers – adapting to their specific needs and requests.

“The whole company is about flexibility and high performance,” continues Pappert. “It’s always growing and going further and we’re creating everything bespoke and from scratch with our partners.

“I could make each component myself but it’s much easier and more efficient if we all help each other and have a level of co-working. It’s like a puzzle: you can add a new piece and it just gets bigger and better."

Co-ordinating thousands of charity meals alongside a high-end catering business requires superhuman levels of organisation, and Pappert is a passionate advocate of smart kitchen technology to reduce food waste and assist accurate ordering. Products like the Rational iCombi Pro and apps to track stock and ordering are a key component of the success of German Chefs Catering.

“It all comes back to zero waste too,” says Pappert. “I know exactly how much salt I have. The oven has density control so I can see how much red cabbage has been used, for example. It works as an ecosystem for us. Plus, if I have 200 portions left from evening catering, I can send them out for charity. When we talk about sustainability and zero waste it’s about valuing our products and ingredients and using them in multiple ways.

“Every chef should have this love of cooking, bringing it to people and presenting the food. I always say I’m not working. It’s my passion, it’s something I’m in love with and I’m investing in my future.”

Hotel, Restaurant & Catering talks to German Chefs Catering Co-Founder Stefan Pappert about creating a VIP home dining experience, charity work and reducing food waste.

Stefan Pappert makes what he does sound very simple and, suitably enough for a German chef, very logical. Over the course of 2020 he oversaw the launch a new high-end catering business, cooked thousands of meals for charity and advocated for the use of smart catering and kitchen equipment to reduce food waste.

It all got started with a phone call in March 2020, just as the Covid-19 lockdown began.

“Mesut Özil called me saying ‘can you cook, to give food to people?’” Pappert explains. “In less than one week we’d set up a charity.”

That would be German footballer Mesut Özil who, in addition to his skill on the pitch, has become known for his generous charitable giving and ownership of London coffee chain 39 Steps Coffee.

Pappert already had a football-adjacent culinary background before arriving in London, having been a caterer at the Brazil and South Africa World Cups, but it was in the UK capital that he began to make the connections that would define the next stages of his career.

Specifically, it was at the Landmark Hotel in Marylebone. Pappert had joined the hotel in 2016 and one day found himself catering a 50-person event attended by well-known figures including Jose Mourinho, Pepe Guardiola and a number of German players, happy to find a German chef in London.

“They took me to a Wembley final,” continues Pappert. “I spoke to the head chef at Wembley who showed me his kitchen and I was so impressed I quit my job! From there word of mouth was really quick: there’s a German in the stadium.”

In addition to taking on the role of Lead Chef at Wembley Stadium’s Three Lions restaurant, Pappert became Chef for Arsenal football club’s box-level corporate hospitality, and made close connections with many of the German players who passed through.

Fast forward three years and, like most in the hospitality industry, Pappert found himself suddenly unable to do his job due to the Covid-19 lockdown. In partnership with Mesut Özil and working from the footballer’s Knightsbridge coffee shop, Pappert and his team began to cook for charities and communities in the local area. At its peak the charity served 50,000 pax across a four-day period, with a group consisting partly of Özil’s own management team.

The pivot to takeaway meals and the enforced break from the busy Wembley kitchens also provided an opportunity to launch Pappert’s new business venture – German Chefs Catering. With his connections in the footballing and foodservice world, he established a new VIP takeaway experience designed with a premium client base in mind.

At each stage of the food delivery process, Pappert was looking for ways to perfect the experience for his customers. Partnering with Swedish company ScanBox, he could ensure the food stayed at exactly the right temperature from kitchen to table.

German Chefs Catering worked with the London black cab community to transport deliveries, and used Wembley suppliers to provide reusable cutlery and plates, doing away with disposable plastic alternatives.

London and LA-based luxury brand OnlyRoses (another German-owned business) provided atmospheric details such as flowers, candles and tableware, while South Tyrolian brand Lieselehof provided the wine menu.

“It’s the highest winery in Europe,” explains Pappert. “There is more colour and the sun is higher concentrated. The wine grapes are better quality; they have to survive the weather so they’re stronger. It’s one of the best wines I’ve tried.”

Pappert has a growing community of partner businesses and chefs, includes Maxim Schulte, the 11th Head Bartender of The Savoy’s American Bar and creator of the bespoke cocktail menu offered by German Chefs Catering. This range of partners means the company can offer a wide range of culinary choices to its customers – adapting to their specific needs and requests.

“The whole company is about flexibility and high performance,” continues Pappert. “It’s always growing and going further and we’re creating everything bespoke and from scratch with our partners.

“I could make each component myself but it’s much easier and more efficient if we all help each other and have a level of co-working. It’s like a puzzle: you can add a new piece and it just gets bigger and better."

Co-ordinating thousands of charity meals alongside a high-end catering business requires superhuman levels of organisation, and Pappert is a passionate advocate of smart kitchen technology to reduce food waste and assist accurate ordering. Products like the Rational iCombi Pro and apps to track stock and ordering are a key component of the success of German Chefs Catering.

“It all comes back to zero waste too,” says Pappert. “I know exactly how much salt I have. The oven has density control so I can see how much red cabbage has been used, for example. It works as an ecosystem for us. Plus, if I have 200 portions left from evening catering, I can send them out for charity. When we talk about sustainability and zero waste it’s about valuing our products and ingredients and using them in multiple ways.

“Every chef should have this love of cooking, bringing it to people and presenting the food. I always say I’m not working. It’s my passion, it’s something I’m in love with and I’m investing in my future.”

 

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