Thomas Koebel, Chef at the Relais de la Poste in La Wantzenau for the past four years, has just won his first macaron at this emblematic establishment, which has already been awarded a star in the past. A native of northern Alsace, he grew up amid the half-timbered houses of Colmar. His career began as an apprentice at the Cheval Blanc in Westhalten, where he rubbed shoulders with the stars, even if he wasn’t fully aware of it at the time.
Keen to work in the restaurant business as soon as he graduated, he joined the Rosenmeer in Rosheim as chef de partie, under the guidance of chef Hubert Maetz, who was awarded his first star at the time. It was there that he first felt the emulation and impact that a Michelin star could have, when he was just 17. He then spent a year at Le Cygne in Gundershoffen, a two-star restaurant at the time, before joining Émile Jung’s brigade at Le Crocodile in Strasbourg for three years, until the latter sold the restaurant.
After a brief stint in Savoie, Thomas Koebel returned to his native region and took up his first chef’s post at the age of 21. He then worked in various gastronomic addresses in the region and as a home chef before settling south of Strasbourg, in a carriage of the restaurant Les Secrets des Grands Express, owned by the Burrus family, who have since developed their group in partnership with Cédric Moulot (Chez Yvonne, Au Crocodile, 1741, etc.).
Thomas Koebel grew the concept of the railway restaurant while pursuing his dream of Michelin stars. When the Burrus Group bought Relais de la Poste in 2019, just after losing its star, it saw the opportunity for a new challenge. Although the Covid and the work required in this historic half-timbered house temporarily hampered his determination, today the star is finally his.
Proud of his Alsatian roots, the 36-year-old chef brings his terroir to the fore in his cooking. His cuisine is simmered and inspired by the terroir of the bourgeoisie. He is particularly fond of generous, rich dishes, working with foie gras, offal and calf’s head. He revisits traditional dishes such as tarte flambée and sauerkraut. To add spice, he prefers to use horseradish rather than wasabi.
His attachment to Alsace is clearly evident in his cooking.