When Jan-Philipp Berner runs up the feudal driveway to Söl’ring Hof, he does so with a quick stride and quite a bit of momentum. Because dynamism is exactly his thing.
How else would it have been possible for the 35-year-old host and culinary-creative head of the Söl’ring Hof to have had such a stellar career?
It was clear from the beginning that he wanted to reach the top. He discovered cooking for himself during a school internship. The smell, the temperature, the speed – Jan-Philipp Berner found all this exciting even then. His first prepared side salads made him so proud that his career choice was quickly made. During his apprenticeship in his hometown of Göttingen, his ambition was awakened: In his free time, he was constantly preparing competitions. Show platters, pâtés, terrines, really classic cuisine.
In 2007, he completed his training with distinction and a scholarship and started at Jörg Müller’s gourmet restaurant on Sylt. “My goal was always to get to know the top class – one, two, three stars.”
The demanding work in a Michelin-starred kitchen during the peak season initially brought disillusionment – after many hours of work, “you’re pretty flat” – but Jan-Philipp Berner kept at it and persevered. What he took away from Jörg Müller was above all the fond appreciation of food.
The then young chef went through other formative houses and deepened his knowledge of the fine art of cooking, including at Jörg Glauben’s gourmet restaurant Tschifflik in Zweibrücken and in 2009 for the first time at Söl’ring Hof. Berner came to Düne through a lucky coincidence – he met his wife Theresa, who was working there at the time. At Johannes King, he initially worked as head gardemanger and saucier until he was drawn to Bergisch Gladbach to work for Nils Henkel. For two years he worked in the 2-star restaurant at Schlosshotel Lerbach, which was decorated with three stars until 2011.
In between, Jan-Philipp Berner completed the course to become a master chef with flying colours in 2011 – no one had ever achieved a result of 99 per cent before. In 2013, he won the title of best young chef in Germany.
The crowning accolade finally followed four months later with the title of world champion chef, when he also impressed with his talent in an international comparison and won the “Concours International des Jeunes Chef Rôtisseurs” competition with participants from 20 nations.
In September 2013, Jan-Philipp Berner went back to Sylt directly into the kitchen of the Söl’ring Hof. He knows the house like no one else – has deeply breathed the DNA of this special place and so the step to succeed Johannes King as managing director and co-partner of Söl’ring Hof Betriebs GmbH to take over the entire management of the house from January 2022 was a logical one.
Since then, his gait has become even faster. “Standing still is not mine. I simply have too many ideas and yes, the demand on myself also drives me,” says the likeable Göttingen native.
He loves being a host, raves about his strong team, both in the restaurant and hotel business, encourages, challenges and shapes his professional home with a lot of heart, energy and strength. A jack-of-all-trades – the word simply fits.
There is only one thing Jan-Philipp is even more passionate about – his family. His wife Theresa and their two little daughters Marlene and Pauline give him the energy he carries to the dune every day. Cooking for them or enjoying the beautiful nature with them in his free time is what he enjoys most, besides his work. Being human and staying grounded.
The whole Söl’ring Hof team says THANK YOU for your daily power and your incredible passion.