Nearly 30 years ago, Kevin Fehling set out on a journey to pursue his passion for food. Now a Michelin three-star chef, the result of many years of hard work is Hamburg’s The Table restaurant and its companion Puzzle Bar. Complementing their gourmet food and cocktails, the vision of Kevin and partner Dennis Ilies ensures that their ambience and customer experience are rated just as highly.
Born in Delmenhorst, near Bremen, Kevin was determined to become the best chef he could possibly be by hard work, learning as much as possible from every job and always setting new goals. This thirst for knowledge led him to work in a range of Michelin-starred restaurants, two years on the Hapag-Lloyd luxury cruise ship MS Europa and ten years as head chef at La Belle Epoque in Lübeck.
In 2015 he opened The Table in Hamburg, a gourmet restaurant where his goal was to set new conceptual standards in gastronomy.
The centrepiece of The Table is its namesake, a long, wooden table that winds its way through the ground floor, echoing how the river Elbe meanders through Hamburg. Being fully booked a year in advance, Kevin’s passion and concept for The Table has delivered a spectacularly successful, ultra-high quality gastronomic experience.
For some time he considered opening a second restaurant in Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, or maybe Paris or London. But Kevin’s ambition and hunger for knowledge is reflected in his former sous chef, Dennis Ilies, and was a source of fresh inspiration.
“Dennis was determined to follow his instincts. I felt such creativity and passion coming from him that opening another concept together made complete sense,” Kevin says. “We share a passion for drinking cocktails, so we worked out how to combine our talents and create extraordinary cocktails which have not existed before. It was the same approach as The Table, but in liquid form.”
Kevin and Dennis experimented with creating cocktails inspired by food dishes from The Table, their attention to detail so intense that he admits to working on an ice cube “for about a year and a half.” They named the new venture the Puzzle Bar.
“Finding the symbiosis between food and cocktails was the first piece of the puzzle,” says Kevin. “The second piece was, as with The Table, putting together the different elements to create a complete sensory experience for the customer. The third was the cocktails, which are puzzles in themselves. You take the various pieces, put them together and transform them into perfection in the glass.”
The Puzzle Bar is located five minutes from The Table, which is also a short distance from Hamburg’s cruise ship terminal where Kevin has another restaurant, The Globe.