Cornelia Poletto can be seen regularly on TV with the Sat.1 show “The Taste”. In the interview, the top chef now talks about crazy cooking jobs, special moments in her career and why women are the better bosses.
What was the craziest job you’ve ever done?
Cornelia Poletto: For my team and I it was definitely the wedding of Heidi Klum and Bill Kaulitz. The two wished for typical German cuisine. From mini schnitzels and Nuremberg bratwurst to the three-tiered cake, we delivered everything to the location – a huge yacht anchored off Capri – and served it upstairs and downstairs to the illustrious wedding party on board.
My personal highlight on the craziness scale is my appearance on Kitchen Impossible. It doesn’t get any meaner. I was dropped off somewhere in nowhere in Norway and had to keep two open fireplaces going in a freezing cold pouring rain with no water or electricity to cook for the jury in the open air.
Cornelia Poletto trained as a cook with Germany’s successful top chef Heinz Winkler. As a sous-chef in Hamburg’s starred restaurant “Anna
Do you think women or men are better bosses? And why?
Poletto: Definitely women. They simply have a different sensitivity when dealing with employees. And they usually have more understanding for the topic of family.
What is the greatest luxury for you, apart from material things?
Poletto: Time. It is so precious and unfortunately only very rarely available in my life. I enjoy it to the fullest when nothing on my to-do list is so urgent that it absolutely has to be worked through and I just lie comfortably on the sofa and leaf through cookbooks, walk around the Alster or with my daughter through the can ride nature.
What tips would you give to women who want to start their own business?
Poletto: Approach the matter with a lot of self-confidence, don’t let any testosterone-controlled manager types get you down and pull through with your cause.
Who would you like to have a coffee with?
Poletto: Coffee? I would rather like to drink a good Italian wine. And with Lady Gaga. And then have a quiet chat with her about her parents’ restaurant.
Which moments of your career do you remember most?
Poletto: There have been a lot of nice moments in my professional life. Of course, I particularly like to remember the day I found out that we had earned a Michelin star. But I also love to think back to the time when Paola was a baby and snuggled up comfortably in her little hammock dangling from the hood while I made pasta. Or my first TV appearance on “Kerners Köche”, where I promptly cut my finger. My first words on TV were actually “Does anyone have a band-aid”.
How did you get your passion for cooking?
Poletto: When I was young I really loved to bake. And at some point I had finished all the cakes… My passion for cooking then followed on from that.
Is cooking a typically female profession and if so, how do you react to the prejudice?
Poletto: On the contrary. The industry is still male dominated. This is simply because the working hours in the kitchen are not very family-friendly. I rarely encounter prejudice.
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