Stuart Forster interviews pastry chef Tom Oberweis at his patisserie and delicatessen, Oberweis in Luxembourg.
On entering the Oberweis flagship store, in central Luxembourg, I mutter a wow of appreciation at the immaculate presentation of the cakes, pastries and delicatessen items displayed in the counters on the ground floor.
The colours are eye-catching and the attention to detail that must go in to creating the products is simply mind boggling. I wander back and forth along the full lengths of the display counters, dodging customers, examining the finely arranged fruit and savouries that look like they’ve been specially styled for a food photography shoot.
The Oberweis flagship store
The Oberweis store at 16 Grand Rue opened in February 2013. Over the past five decades Oberweis has established a name for high quality, gourmet products and is a household name within Luxembourg.
A crown-topped coat of arms is exhibited by the entrance to the store along with the words “Fournisseur de la Cour.” It’s a seal of quality that Oberweis supplies the Grand Duchy’s court.
Up on the first floor chocolates are arranged under a curving, glass-topped counter that reminds me of a jewellery shop. I speak with the assistant; she removes a tray of chocolates and places them on the subtly lit surface so I can take a photograph.
I meet Tom Oberweis, still wearing a chef’s jacket, who explains, “we design everything ourselves. We constantly have two people working on research and development. We have close contact with French, German and Belgian pastry chefs. Luxembourg is very small so we can go abroad and see and taste the best from other countries, then make it in our own way, the way of Oberweis”.
Presenting cakes and chocolates
The impact that the store made on me was, I learn, by no means pure chance.
“It’s clearly defined how we should present our cakes and chocolates – the colours and everything – so when the customer comes into our shops they get the same impression. They should come in and it is an Oberweis universe. You should come in and be happy. That’s what I want,” he says.
I point out a beautifully made rocket and raspberry tart, commenting that I find the unusual combination innovative and interesting. “We are known for making these special things and unusual combinations,” comments Mr Oberweis.
Freshly made cakes and delicatessen items
So are these the kinds of products that I could buy and transport back to the United Kingdom? Possibly, but, unfortunately, they wouldn’t be at their best for very long. “It is very important for us to have fresh products. It’s fresh food and should be eaten the same day,” says Mr Oberweis.
I mention the coat of arms by the entrance and ask what it means. “To get that you must deliver to the court for five years, produce good quality and continue to get orders…we’re very proud of it,” says Mr Oberweis smiling.
I head up to the café on the first floor, for a coffee and croissant, before exploring the city.
The Oberweis flagship store, cafe and restaurant is at 16 Grande Rue, Luxembourg City (tel. +352 47 07 03). See the opening times plus the products and menus offered on the Oberweis website. Oberweis has four other outlets around the country.
Find out more about attractions in the Grand Duchy on the Visit Luxembourg website.
For more information about attractions within the capital, see the Luxembourg City Tourist Office website.
Railbookers (tel. +44 (0) 20 3327 3551) offers a holiday by rail to Benelux.
Photos illustrating this post are by Why Eye Photography.
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