Germany′s culinary conscience, Wolfram Siebeck, dies aged 87 | Lifestyle | DW | 08.07.2016
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Germany's culinary conscience, Wolfram Siebeck, dies aged 87

France was his muse, and he complained that Germany's didn't spend enough money on good food. Critic Wolfram Siebeck, an advocate of fine cuisine in post-war Germany, has passed away at age 87.

Not only do Germans not spend enough on what they eat, "they've fallen for the delusion of packaged food," Wolfram Siebeck once said. "Instead of going to the supermarket, people should shop at good butchers, cheese stores and local producers. That brings quality of life."

Known for not mincing words in his criticism of Germany's culinary habits, Siebeck published many books, contributed to cooking shows and even started a blog later in life - even though he also claimed that no one ever learned to cook better from a TV show and that cookbooks just decorated people's shelves.

Nevertheless, Siebeck became a significant spokesperson for culinary enjoyment in a country that had just recovered from war-time scarcity and was experiencing a post-war economic boom.

Born in 1928 in Duisburg, he grew up in Essen and Bochum in Germany's industrial heartland. Though Bochum competes with Berlin as the birthplace of the currywurst, Siebeck allegedly never ate the famous dish until very late in life. "My hunger for currywurst has been satisfied for the rest of my life," he said afterwards.

He was an anti-aircraft auxiliary in World War II and spent a short time as a British prisoner in 1945. After the war, he studied graphic design and worked as an illustrator before becoming an author and food critic. For many years, he was a food columnist in publications like "Twen," "Stern," "Die Zeit," and "Feinschmecker."

It was a trip to France around the year 1950 that inspired his interest in fine cuisine. He became a proponent of eating offal, pâté de fois gras and rare meats, which was not common in Germany at the time.

Siebeck passed away Thursday (07.07.2016) in Mahlberg, near Freiburg in southern Germany, after battling a short illness.

kbm/eg (with dpa)

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