Meet Vegan Chef Johannes Nicolay

chef johannes nicolay vegan chef Apr 13, 2021
Meet Vegan Chef Johannes Nicolay

Have you heard of the Mosel valley before? It’s one of the most beautiful regions in Germany, attracting visitors from all around the world each with its breathtaking nature. 

Steep green hills lined with vineyards overlook the curvy route of the river as it flows gently alongside small villages and picturesque towns. Old castles sit enthroned on hilltops reminding passersby of the century-old history and traditions of this region.

It is here where people from all around the world come to experience the local wine and food culture. Especially the popular white wine Riesling draws tourists each year to this scenic landscape.

It is also here where you find one of the best holiday destinations for vegans: the vegan hotel “Hotel Nicolay 1881”.

Inspired by the regional and traditional cuisine, vegan chef Johannes Nicolay creates flavorful creative dishes that bring his guests the authentic hearty feel German food is known for.

But as a family-owned hotel that has been passed down from each generation since 1881, this change didn’t come easily. 

Starting his career as a chef 30 years ago, Johannes would have never imagined becoming one of Germany’s most renowned vegan chefs. 

Having worked in several gourmet restaurants all over Germany for many years, he decided to return to his home town and take over the management of his family’s hotel in 2009. 

In 2012, he suddenly started questioning our traditional meat-based diet. At first, it was for health reasons, but then soon Johannes learned about the positive impact a vegan diet can have on our world.  

At this point, there was no turning back. Johannes realized for himself that he wanted his hotel and restaurant to be completely vegan. 

Changing his hotel’s kitchen to only serve vegan dishes was a huge step, and it brought real challenges.  

From one day to the other, the hotel lost all of his former regular guests. After all, this seemed to most people like a clear break with traditions, something unheard of in the region. 

After several years of struggling and rebuilding his hotel’s reputation, Johannes and his “Hotel Nicolay 1881” now stand for a modern and sustainable approach to hospitality and cuisine. 

Guests from all over Europe visit his hotel for the fantastic menu of its two restaurants, the welcoming atmosphere, and the stunning nature of the region.

Watch the following interview to meet Johannes and learn about his journey.

Now, in his first-ever online cooking course, Johannes shares his secrets to making unforgettable vegan dishes with the unique soul of German cuisine. 

Even though German food is traditionally relying heavily on meat and other animal products, Johannes has successfully managed to create authentic and delicious recipes using nothing but plant-based ingredients.  

Johannes shows you how to create meat-like textures and recreate traditional German recipes - such as the infamous Schnitzel, roulades, or sausages, - in a completely vegan way.


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