"Even now if I'm cutting a celery leaf into the perfect shape, I need double the time," he says. "But if I'm filleting a fish, I do three in the time the other fuckers do one. I went to Tokyo and for three days just stood and watched how the guys were doing it in the fish market. Then I invented my own Japanese-Prussian mix of being very precise and fast."
It's a huge leap from the Michelin-star chef's first kitchen gig, when he was fresh from thug life and lacked discipline. Raue's job was cutting bread. He remembers being ecstatic to finish four baguettes, only to realize there were six more massive boxes.
Years later, after primo jobs as executive chef at luxury hotels such as Berlin's Swissôtel and the glam Adlon Kempinski, Raue opened his own restaurant in 2010. His self-professed "Asian bastard" fine dining -- blending Thai, Chinese, et al with fresh regional products -- was unlike anything German gourmands had ever tasted.
Restaurant Tim Raue's menu is a journey across the chef's favorite Asian influences. Wasabi langoustine, featured in the episode, is the fattest, juiciest prawn you'll ever slice into, topped with crunchy green rice flakes, creamy wasabi sauce, and a spicy Thai vinaigrette. Another is a bright-green Granny Smith apple ice cream dessert adorned with dark chocolate and coriander, tasting like a great high and a smooth come-down all at once.