The pudding that made me become a cook

By Laura TomassiniGilles Kayser Switch to German for original article

Steve Lentz is a trained chef who won a gold medal at the regional semi-finals of the European Grand Prix 2023: Global Chefs Challenge last February, which will allow him to participate in the world championships next year. He shares his passion for cooking with his students in Diekirch, showing them how cool vegan cuisine can be.

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"On my plate, everything always ends up looking nicely ordered and appealing, in everyday life that tends not to be my strong point – not even with clothes!" With a lot of passion and humour, Steve Lentz talks about his job and private life. A cook and teacher by day, he currently devotes his free time to the house project he is furnishing together with his partner Laura Donven – or rather having her furnish it, because interior design is not one of Steve's many arts.

What he can do, however, and do really well, is cook. Especially vegan, or "plant-based" as Steve prefers to call it. "Vegan is a lifestyle for me when I stop wearing leather belts and also make sure when I buy a car that no animal products are processed in it. I prefer the term plant-based because it's less extreme and doesn't make people so afraid of being judged." Steve has been interested in nutrition since he was a teenager.

A varied profession

The native of Nordstad became aware that he would one day become a professional chef at a village festival in Eppeldorff. "There we had a homemade pudding made by local mothers and it was so good that I decided to become a chef, " the 33-year-old recalls with a grin. Today, more than 20 years after that enlightening experience, Steve himself teaches aspiring kitchen virtuosos at the École d'Hôtellerie et de Tourisme du Luxembourg (EHTL), passing on the passion that has driven him all these years.

"I was first at the secondary school in Diekirch and then came here for the open day at the hotel school. When I saw all the kids here with their white aprons and toques (special hat of cooks, ed.), I was immediately enthusiastic." The apprentice completed his entire training in Diekirch before gaining practical experience in Luxembourg and abroad. "I worked a lot in catering establishments, with a focus on fine dining, " says Steve. The young chef especially liked the jobs in hotels, because here, in addition to the normal lunch and dinner menus, afternoon snacks, breakfast and in-room meals are served – exactly the variety that Steve loves about his job.

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