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Atlantic lobster soup – a soup receives a title

In the 105th year of its existence, Hotel Atlantic Kempinski names lobster soup as its signature dish.

On 2 May 1909, when the Hotel Atlantic opened as a classic grand hotel for the first-class passengers of the famous luxury liners, no one could possibly suspect that 105 years later – in a notable jubilee year – a soup would be joining the nobility. Franz Pfordte is regarded as the inventor of the legendary Atlantic lobster soup, which is today prepared as a signature dish, bringing pleasure to guests from all over the world.

Franz PfordteThe history

And still today, we are proud to be able to look back on such a famous founding father. His recipe for lobster soup was for many years a well-kept secret. And there were certainly times when it was not possible to serve this lobster soup. Yet the importance of this dish for the Atlantic restaurant is unique, and so the modern-day chefs de cuisine deserve thanks for reviving and reinterpreting this legacy.

The anecdote

Wilfried Kopf, maître d’ in the Atlantic Restaurant for 19 years, likes to regale his guests with an anecdote about the rock music star Rod Stewart, which he delivers enthusiastically in his Viennese accent. Lobster soup was on the menu when the celebrity dined in the restaurant in 2003. At the time, the recipe was a secret kept by the head chef. Stewart was so inspired by the dish that he was determined to get the recipe. Eventually he was indeed able to obtain the recipe “but not until he had promised only to use it himself,” said Kopf. Rod Stewart returned the favour and praised the “the Atlantic’s lobster soup as the best in the world” during a television appearance in 2011.

Patrick WeberThe present

Now, in the jubilee year of the hotel and restaurant, Head Chef Patrick Weber is responsible for the preparation of the lobster soup. Weber took over as head chef of the Atlantic Restaurant in April 2014. He sees himself as a guardian of its traditions. Naturally, the Atlantic’s classics – especially the lobster soup – will remain on the menu; they will simply be prepared in a more modern style. “I can also be creative as well”, said the 33-year old chef. “During the brief time that I have been here, I have often had guests who have only come because of the lobster soup”, he added.

The recipe

Ingredients for four people.

  • 500g lobsters
  • 50g fennel
  • 50g celery
  • 100g onions
  • 10 ripe or peeled tomatoes
  • 50ml white wine (preferably a dry Riesling)
  • 20ml cognac
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 5 crushed peppercorns
  • 5 sprigs of basil
  • 400ml cream
  • 400ml of lobster stock, alternatively fish stock or water

Cook the lobster in boiling salted water for four minutes; cool in iced water and allow the claws to steep in the cooking liquid for seven minutes. Crack open all parts of the lobster and remove the intestines.
Wash and cut up the lobster carcasses.
Brown the carcasses in neutral vegetable oil, cut the vegetables into 1 x 1cm cubes and fry them as well. Add the spices; pour in the cognac and flambé.
Add in the tomatoes together with 350ml of lobster stock and the cream.
Bring to a boil slowly and add the herbs. Lower the heat and allow to simmer for approximately two hours. Strain the lobster soup through a fine-mesh sieve and season to taste. Heat the extracted lobster meat in the separate lobster stock and arrange in four soup bowls. Froth the lobster soup with a hand blender and serve.

  • Restaurant Pfordte2,453 servings of the lobster soup were sold in the Atlantic Restaurant in 2013.
  • The lobster soup costs 26 euros.
  • The preparation time for the lobster soup is four hours
  • It is eaten in ten minutes.
Serving the soup

The lobster soup is served to the guest in a silver terrine. Eagerly awaiting the soup in the bowl is the half-lobster, elegantly decorated with the mangetout. With an immaculately polished ladle, Maître d’ Wilfried Kopf pours the soup onto the lobster arrangement in the bowl. It is a supremely enjoyable ceremony.

Facts and figures about the soup

About the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski Hamburg: The Hotel Atlantic Kempinski was opened 104 years ago as a classic grand hotel for the first-class passengers of the famous luxury liners. The magnificent building located on the shores of Aussenalster Lake offer 245 rooms, including 30 suites, with a timeless elegance and abundant luxury. Splendid function rooms and graceful salons provide a multi-faceted selection of stylish rooms for events with up to 1,200 guests. Also amongst the jewels of this Hamburg landmark is a private cinema.

About Kempinski: Created in 1897, Kempinski Hotels is Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group. Kempinski’s rich heritage of impeccable personal service and superb hospitality is complemented by the exclusivity and individuality of its properties. Kempinski now manages a portfolio of 73 five-star hotels in 31 countries and continues to add new properties in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Each one reflects the strength and success of the Kempinski brand without losing sight of its heritage. The portfolio comprises historic landmark properties, award-winning urban lifestyle hotels, outstanding resorts, and prestigious residences. Each one is imbued with the quality guests have come to expect from Kempinski while embracing the cultural traditions of its location. Kempinski is a founding member of the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2014.

For further information:
Lars Leyendecker • Press Contact
Hotel Atlantic Kempinski Hamburg
An der Alster 72-79 • 20099 Hamburg • Germany
Tel +49 40 2888 854 • Fax +49 40 2803 419

Born in 1840, Franz Pfordte was one of the most famous restaurateurs in the world at the turn of the century. In 1900, his international reputation and global status as a chef led to his managing the German restaurant at the World Exhibition in Paris. Every German city was represented in Paris except for Hamburg, because many of the city fathers thought the Hanseatic City was already operating at it limits due to the booming economic situation of the time. His restaurant, on the corner of Rathausmarkt, was among the noblest in the city. Emperors and kings, grand princes and dukes, artists, scholars and diplomats eagerly frequented Pfordte’s restaurant. He was a man of exceptional intelligence and foresight. At the end of April 1909, he closed his restaurant at the corner of the City Hall to heed the call of the hotel director at that time. The inauguration of the Atlantic Hotel marked the reopening of his restaurant in the illustrious rooms of the grand hotel. The attraction and fame of the Hotel Atlantic, and hence its success, were significantly increased by Franz Pfordte.
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